The importance of sleep

24.05.2022, Anna Comet


We usually give a lot of value to the food, physical activity, and psychological and emotional rest. Nonetheless, none of this will work if we do not offer the body sufficient and restful sleep.


What does enough sleep mean?The average number of sleeping hours must be between 7 and 8 hours.


What does restful mean?Enjoy every phase of sleep. This article explains each of these phases. 



While we sleep, our body behaves differently than when we are awake. During sleep, we are stretched out, with our eyes closed, and the brain and musculoskeletal activity are different from what we have during the day before.



The sleeping process has 5 phases:

  • During the first and second phases, the muscles relax, and the heart and respiratory rate and brain activity decrease. We lose consciousness and control of the body.
  • During the third and fourth, respiratory and heart rate, as well as brain activity, is slow and regular. We continue with very relaxed muscles
  • The fifth phase, called REM, the brain reaches a high activity, the respiratory and heart rate is high and irregular, but the muscles remain relaxed. It is the phase in which we tend to dream more.



During sleep, these 5 phases are repeated. Ideally, they are not interrupted to achieve restful sleep since it is during the fulfillment of these phases that we get the body recovered from the effort of the whole day and regenerate the spent nutrients, cells, and neurotransmitters.


During sleep, we also repair the body organs from all the effort they have made during the day before. This repair is also carried out in phases and staggered, so it is also important to be able to sleep the recommended 7 or 8 hours. It is a way to give the body time to repair the different organs.



How to get a good rest?

The theory is very nice, but how do we get our body to be able to comply with these cycles of five phases during rest?

Different factors help us:

  • Try to create a dark and relaxed environment in the place where we will sleep
  • We can prepare our body and relax with a shower before going to bed or do five minutes of meditation
  • Avoid screens during the last hour before bed
  • Turn off the phone
  • Let's get used to eating lightly before resting so that digestion is easy
  • We practice moderate physical exercise during the day, and if we have to do it at the last minute before going to bed, we try not to do it at high intensity



What will we get by sleeping these hours?

The general and most automatic response would be: BE OK, which is what we all want. But if we specify more, we will see other ways in which a good restful sleep helps us:

  • Helps us to be more creative thanks to the fact that the brain is rested and can work much better when we are awake.
  • It helps us control body weight since insomnia causes the hormones related to appetite to not act well and we have much more anxiety and eat more and less adequately.
  • Improves the immune system, resulting in a healthier state, thanks to the regeneration that we have talked about previously.
  • Improves our memory through neurotransmitters regeneration that we have talked about before.
  • Protects the heart since insomnia increases the blood level of stress hormones, thus increasing blood pressure and heart rate, phenomena that are one of the main causes of cardiovascular problems.
  • Reduces depression, and we feel better and happier thanks to the secretion of a series of hormones that help us in this process during rest.



It is not necessary to go too far to realize the importance of sleeping enough hours. Surely we will get more out of one more hour of sleep than an email sent out of hours. Let's think about it!