Sleep and Health
S for Super, L for Life, E for Enhancing, E for Extending and P for Process… When it comes to finding a functional definition for this activity, it is appropriate to say that sleep is the super life-enhancing and extending process which enables the body to keep on going healthy at many levels. Indeed, restoration of DNA (the siege of biological information and genetic instructions) and of numerous cells of the body occur especially during this specific period when the eyes are shut (into sleep mode).
No wonder ‘’the sleeping beauty’’ in the Fairy Tale Disney Fantasy is actually depicted as very beautiful; she is said to sleep a lot!
Far from being one of too many trivial luxuries in life, sleep is too often an underrated, but yet, absolute necessity. On the physical point of view, the life force of the body (which has slowly been depleted by the weight of the passing hours) is magically reinvigorated with a new-found energy after a long-night sleep. Even in the sports/athletics/bodybuilding world, it is metaphorically proclaimed that if exercise is the motor, and food the fuel, then sleep is the key in the ignition of the health vehicle… You’ve got to switch it on!
On the psychological point of view, the contributions of sleep to the well-being of an individual are rightly invaluable. Recent studies originated from modern science state that even a nap of only 20 minutes is sufficient to boost a fading spirit and temporarily restore vitality of the mind (for office workers, among others). Moreover, according to a scientific research specifically entitled the effects of napping on cognitive functioning published in 2010 by Lovato and Lack, ‘’ the benefits of brief (5-15 min) naps are almost immediate after the nap and last a limited period (1-3 hrs)’’.
That being said, there’s no excuse for anyone not to joyfully sneak out for even a fraction of hours to the world of Hypnos, the god of sleep, and of Morpheus, one of his sons, according the fascinating Greek mythology… So, just relax, close your eyes, and have a nice dream!