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Why We Sleep

Whether we’re working out or working from home (or an office) high-intensity is a mode we often praise. While this can yield impressive results in the short term, maintaining a back-breaking pace is impossible to sustain without recovery. 

From muscle repair and metabolism to preventing illness and supporting our emotional wellbeing, sleep is critical for everyone. So if you too have been to led to believe that burnout is the price you must pay for success, or wondered why do we need sleep anyway? Below you’ll learn the various theories and benefits that sleep can vastly improve in your mental, emotional, and physical health.

To conserve energy

One popular theory that potentially answers the question, “why do we sleep?” is the energy conservation theory. This theory suggests that the main purpose of sleep began as a way of reducing energy during the evenings when it was once challenging and inefficient to hunt for food. This is also be supported by the way that our metabolic rate drops at night. Research suggests that in a human being’s average night of sleep (eight hours) one can produce a daily energy savings of 35%

For cell repair and growth

Some scientists also believe the reason why we need sleep is not only to feel rested but to restore everything from our muscles to our immune system. The restorative theory says that sleep is necessary for our cells to repair and regrow. 

A study in 2009 by Carnegie Mellon University showed that people who got seven hours, or fewer, of sleep were three times more likely to become ill when exposed to the common cold than those who got eight hours of sleep or more. Sleep can also be attributed to supporting the key processes like: 

  • Muscle repair
  • Protein synthesis
  • Tissue growth
  • Hormone release

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