Why Is Sleep Important?
While even experts haven’t reached a consensus explanation for why we sleep, numerous indicators support the view that it serves an essential biological function.
From an evolutionary perspective, the fact that sleep exists in almost all animal species - despite the fact that it creates vulnerability and takes time away from feeding or procreating - is a strong indication that it is fundamental to well-being
In humans, sleep appears to be critical to both physical and mental development in babies, children, and young adults. In adults, a lack of sleep has been associated with a wide range of negative health consequences including cardiovascular problems, a weakened immune system, higher risk of obesity and type II diabetes, impaired thinking and memory, and mental health problems like depression and anxiety.
These diverse ramifications of sleep deprivation offer strong support to the view that sleep doesn’t have just one biological purpose but in fact, through its complexity, is an important contributor to the proper functioning of nearly all of the systems of the body.