Friday, May 27, 2011


When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
 Proverbs 3:24

Sleep is extremely important, especially if you want your body to function properly throughout the day.  It is said that the body needs about six to eight hours of sleep each night, but it does vary with different people.  The less sleep one gets, it can have an affect on the nervous system and it will be harder for the body to fight and combat diseases or any colds or flues that are flying around, for the immune system will be very vulnerable because it hasn’t had enough hours to reprogramme itself through lack of rest. Recent scientific research has shown that sleep is extremely essential and it confirms why God Almighty said in the sacred canon that ‘your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost’.  The more sleep we get the healthier are body becomes.

'Scientists have shown that sleep is more about getting rid of the previous day's mental rubbish than dreaming.
A study into slumber has found that the nerve connections built up in the brain during a busy day are pruned during the night in an attempt to keep the mind from overloading junk information.
The findings lend support to the idea that a good night's sleep is essential for consolidating important memories of the previous day and getting rid of things that would otherwise clog up the system.  The researchers behind the said the results showed how important it was for people to get a good night's sleep to be on top for the next day.  The research was based on analysis of fruit flies.  THe scientists believed that these simple creatures are a good model of sleep in humans because, like people, flies need between six and eight hours a night and show physical and mental deprivation if they fail to get enough.  Those raised in crowded conditions sleep two or three hours longer than those kept in solitary confinement and flies that are kept active with "mental workouts" sleep longer than those that are not.
Previous studies had shown that sleep promotes learning and memory in animals.  The latest research went further by showing that the connections (synapses) between nerve cells in the brain are built up during the day and are pruned after a good night's sleep, Professor Shaw said.' (1)

Scientists experimented on fruit flies to see the value of sleep

‘It is believed that sleep may play an important part in the growth of skin tissues, by permitting the skin tissues to utilise their own glycogen instead of giving it up (via the bloodstream) to the other body tissues as happens during the normal activities of wakefulness.  Sleep is certainly one of the most important healing agents known to medicine.  Sleep reduces the activity of the body.  Breathing becomes more regular, the heart beats more slowly and blood pressure falls.  Less oxygen is taken in and more carbon dioxide given off.  The kidneys work more slowly and the blood becomes more dilute.’ (2)

'When we're deprived of sleep, some of the neural connections in the brain temporarily 'switch off', causing us to lose concentration and make mistakes. Conventional wisdom was that a lack of sleep affected the whole brain equally, but neuroscientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have now found more localised areas of inactivity in the brains of tired rats. The researchers observed that, at the same time, these rats appeared to be active but began making mistakes in the small tasks they had been set. (3)

Rats were used for an experiment on sleep.

'Regularly having a bad night's sleep can lead to high blood pressure, a study has found.
Poor sleep quality increases the risk 'significantly' and it is as critical to health as diet to exercise, researchers said.
Men with an average age of 75 were observed in 'slow wave sleep' (SWS), a deep stage of sleep from which it is difficult to awaken.
Those for whom SWS took up less than four per cent of sleep time were significantly more likely to develop high blood pressure, or hypertension.
They also woke more during the night and suffered more severe apnoea, a sleep-related breathing problem.
The findings, reported by the American Heart Association were not influenced by body weight despite many of men being overweight or obese.
'Poor sleep may be a powerful prediction for adverse health outcomes,' said Prof Susan Redline at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, US.
Natasha Stewart, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: 'While this study does suggest a link between lack of sleep and the development of high blood pressure, it only looked at men aged over 65.
'However, it's important we all try to make sleep a priority and get out six to eight hours of shut-eye a night.' (4)  

God has beautifully designed the cycles of the day to correlate with the cycle of the body.  Night time is for the body to reprogramme itself and in the day plenty of sunshine is needed which is the main source of our vitamin D.  Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the pineal gland in the brain.  It plays a major part in balancing the sleep-wake cycle by helping the body to know when it is time to go to sleep and when it is time to wake up.  Levels of melatonin in the blood are highest just prior to bedtime.  It is usually produced when it is dark at about 10 or 11 or just before midnight.  It helps to build your immune system, repair your cells and regulates other hormones so the body can fight against any ailments.  So it is important to get plenty of sleep so that the body can function properly each day.

Source: (1) THE INDEPENDENT, Friday 3, April, 2009; 
(2) VIRTUE’S FAMILY PHYSICIAN, VOLUME 1 p.167; (3) BBC Knowledge, July/Aug 2011, issue 18; (4) METRO, August 30, 2011 

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