Most people would agree that there’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. Stressful day at the office? Long hours doing yard work and housework? All this can be repaired with a nice, long slumber. You awaken the next day feeling calm, refreshed and ready for anything — the stresses, aches and pains of the previous day are long gone.
The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as an accident), or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It affects how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.
One sleep theory is that our brain goes over the information it received that day and decides what should stick around and where it should go. Think of your brain as a computer desktop. During the night, anything we learned that day is filed away in the proper folders, or moved to the recycle bin. Behavioral research supports this notion, but sleep is so mysterious and different for each person that it’s tough to get conclusive results.