In the modern world there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we want to get done. We are tied down by commitments to work and family; we are distracted by social media; and what we really desire is to have more time for ourselves. Instinctively we may believe that we should be sleeping less. But in reality, we probably don’t get as much sleep as we should.

It’s not hard to fantasize about living a life that would allow us to relax as much as we wanted; travel the world to our heart’s content; and not have to worry about paying the bills. This lifestyle would be possible if we were already wealthy, or if we won a huge jackpot prize by playing the Mega Millions lottery. Most of us, however, need to work for a living. In order to do our jobs well, we need to be in the best shape, both physically and mentally. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to our health and wellbeing.

The benefits of getting enough sleep can’t be overstated. On the one hand, sleep is as important to our health as getting physical exercise and proper nutrition. On the other hand, the lack of sleep can lead to serious health issues. Sufficient sleep is therefore vital to our lives, yet many of us just don’t get enough of it.

Why do you need to sleep? Surprisingly, the answer to this basic question is not exactly clear. According to research done with this question in mind, we sleep in order to allow our brain to restore itself. Connections between brain cells formed during our daily experiences need to be strengthened while unimportant connections need to be removed from our brain. This refreshing of the brain, according to researchers, takes place when we sleep.

While we don’t know exactly why we need to sleep, we can certainly see the effects of not sleeping enough. It should be obvious that you feel much better in the morning after getting a good night’s sleep, but there are serious side effects if you don’t. The negative impacts on your health could include a lack of alertness, impaired memory, stress, and a lowered quality of life. Chronic sleep deprivation will leave us forgetful, irritable, and depressed. Lack of sleep is bad for our heart, It will make us gain weight and reduce our sex drive. Sleep-deprived drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents. And, as can be expected, not getting enough sleep will result in our being sleepy all the time.

In short, not getting enough sleep is bad for your health.

Sleep is not optional in our lives, as busy as they may be. Sleep is a fundamental requirement. Getting a good night’s sleep will ensure that we are fully prepared to meet the challenges of the next day.