Why do we sleep?

A Harvard professor recently said "We don't know why we sleep." My thoughts were---he should be fired. As a sleep researcher, he wonders about the value of sleep, and again I question his wisdom. We know that babies need a lot of sleep to grow healthy and strong. Young children get cranky and irrational when they don't get sufficient sleep, but for the rest of us, the answer still allude us even though it appears to draw a lot of attention and conjecture.

I am not a scientist and my knowledge, I realize is rather limited compared to the scientific community but even in my simple minded common sense way of thinking, I know that when I sleep, I allow my body to restore itself and heal. I actually feel the healing taking place. It is a time when I need to relax and unwind from the activities of my previous day and I have discovered that when I am over exhausted, my body needs more time to find its natural rhythm before it actually calms down. When I over do one day, my body suffers and makes me understand that itwasn'tbeing properly served. I recently saw an eight-year old child who usually gets ten hours of sleep on a regular basis become quite ill due to the fact that he only received six hours one night. His entire system was out of balance and he was completely out of sorts and unable to hold food down. It literally took him 24 hours of rest to feel normal again. Everyone around him was looking for reasons why he was having this experience what did he eat he must have caught a virus! In truth, we all like routines and we function better when we have order in our lives.

Many people abuse and misuse their bodies and as a result experience periods of discomfort as well as periods of physical and emotional weakness. We forget that our bodies are simply machines yes, sophisticated and intricately made but none the less machines and like all valuable machines, our bodies must be continually fine-tuned in order to function with precision if we expect them to work smoothly and efficiently.

I do not believe that you have to be a scientist or in the medical profession to reach a basic common sense conclusion. There is an intelligent design to all humans thatsupersedesscience and reasoning. That is where our intuitive abilities combined with basic common sense come into play. I have discovered that when I take the time to listen to my body, my body speaks loud and clear to me and lets me know what I need to do to heal or to stay healthy.

For me and my way of thinking, I believe that having a good and consistent eight-hour sleep benefits me; that is, physically, emotionally, and mentally; that is why I see the value of getting a good night sleep. Some benefits are:

1. Able to reduce stress and relax more fully

2. Experience greater energy during the day and I am also more alert to tackle any and all of my activities as I stay focused and attentive

3. Healthier and better able to fight sickness and disease in my body and mind

4. Reduce brain freeze - I have discovered that my brain and memory functions are improved, as is my ability to concentrate

Like everything else in life, we need to replace old and poor habits with new and improved habits in order to maximize their benefits. So I encourage you to try some new and improved sleeping habits and see if you notice and experience some improved benefits. A good night sleep provides your body the opportunity to repair, rejuvenate and heal at a deep cellular level. Become your own testimonial try it for thirty days and observe if you feel an improvement in your overall state of being. I would be interested in hearing your comments.

Joan Marie Ambrose

Author, Creative Writer, Motivational Speaker

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Blog Date: 
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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