When it comes to sleep, the amount of time you sleep is not the only important consideration. The lack of sleep can have profound effects on the body and mind, but other factors may also have a great deal of impact on the quality of sleep. Here are some facts about the importance of sleep:
- According to research, lack of sleep can diminish your attention and concentration, making problem solving difficult and having an impact on learning.
- Lack of sleep can interfere with your brain’s ability to consolidate memories according to studies, making it harder to retain what you may have learned from day to day.
- According to the National Sleep Research Project, if it takes you under five minutes to fall asleep it could mean that you are sleep-deprived. The ideal amount of time to fall asleep is between 10 and 15 minutes, indicating you are tired but not exhausted.
- Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05%.
- The National Roads and Motorists’ Association estimates that fatigue is involved in one out of six fatal road accidents.
- The National Sleep Research Project reports that exposure to noise at night can suppress immune function even if the sleeper doesn’t wake. Unfamiliar noise and noise during the first and last two hours of sleep have the greatest disruptive effects on the sleep cycle.