Sleep is one of the natural blessings of life. Sleep gives a periodic rest to the body, which is very essential for the effective day to day functioning. The sleep also repairs the wear-tear occurred to the body and mind, during the waking hours. This explains the importance of sleep in our physical and mental life and the lack of it is very detrimental to the health. Prolonged hours of sleeplessness may lead to physiological health hazards such as loss of memory, irritability, hallucination and schizophrenic symptoms.
However, for healthy living, it is essential to differentiate between
sleep and rest. Both these conditions are completely different from each
other and have their own function. While resting a person is disturbed
by external disturbances, but while sleeping he partially loses his
consciousness. The limbs are in normal when resting, whereas they swell
while sleeping. This is due to the flow of blood from the brain to the
different arteries, thereby making them grow in size.
A person is more relaxed while sleeping but changes position on an
average 35 times, a night. Even, many organs suspend their working
during sleep. Thus, it is also referred to as temporary loss of
consciousness. Sleep speeds up constructive processes over the
destructive processes conducted during the waking hours and cannot be
given a thought of living without. Though average time for sleep needed
to feel healthy is around seven and a half hours, it still varies for
different stages of life the person is currently in.