Unit 1 Taking Charge of Your Health and Wellness Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc. 68 Why do your body and brain require an adequate amount of sleep? Scientists do not know the true purpose of sleep (Figure 3.2). It is clear, however, that getting an adequate amount of sleep helps the body heal, rest, and rejuvenate itself. The term rejuvenate means to refresh and feel more energetic. Getting an inadequate amount of sleep can result in feeling cranky, being unable to think clearly, and getting into arguments more easily. Although scientists do not know exactly why people need sleep, you are likely to notice the benefits of a good night’s sleep. After getting an adequate amount of sleep, you likely feel refreshed and ready to tackle a new day. If you go without sleep, you may not feel like yourself. It is important to get an adequate amount of sleep each night so your body and brain can function properly each day. Sleep Needs and Age The amount of sleep that a person needs depends on his or her age. Infants, children, and teens need considerably more sleep than adults need. Young people need more sleep because their bodies and brains are still developing. Sleep encourages the development process and helps young people grow. Myths Facts Facts About Sleep Most school schedules begin when a teenager's body naturally wants to be asleep, through no fault of their own. Teens who fall asleep in class are not getting enough sleep at night or are lazy. Your brain is just as active asleep as it is when you are awake, controlling body functions like breathing. Your brain "shuts off" while you are asleep to help you rejuvenate. Insomnia can include waking up too early and not being able to fall back asleep, frequent awakenings, and waking up feeling unrefreshed. Insomnia is always characterized by a difficulty falling asleep when it is bedtime. It is best to get out of bed and engage in a relaxing activity like reading or listening to music until you feel sleepy. If you have not fallen asleep within 20-30 minutes, lying in bed and counting sheep can help. Figure 3.2 Scientists may not know the true purpose of sleep, but there are many facts about sleep that they do know to be true. Some might surprise you because of persisting myths about sleep.
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