Why Is Sleep Important? - Bangkok Prep

Why Is Sleep Important?

Did you know that for an adult getting less than 6-7 hours a night “demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer.” Mathew Walker 2017.

That’s not all- short sleeping (getting less than the necessary amount) increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. On top of this there are significant cognitive, learning and mood consequences of not getting enough sleep.

So what is sleep and what is it for?

Sleep is a natural state of rest during which your eyes are closed and you become unconscious. This allows lots of important bodily functions to take place. The powers of the body are restored and the brain is able to do work it has little time for during the day.

We sleep naturally when the sleep hormone serotonin is emitted which helps us to sleep. Serotonin is triggered at night (circadian rhythms). A sleep pressure system also builds the longer we are awake, by the time we go to bed these two systems should work together to make us fall asleep. Long naps deplete the pressure system and are not restorative-don’t nap after 3pm and avoid long naps during the day.

We go through many stages of sleep over a night-time. Once we go through the stages we repeat and progress through the cycle. Our sleep gets deeper and more restorative as we progress through each cycle.

How Much Sleep Should You Be Getting?

The amount of sleep you need decreases with age but teenagers need 9 to 9 1/2 hours per night and adults a minimum of 8 this is because when we sleep many important jobs are carried out in the body and brain.

So what happens at night?

  • Repair of cell damage-our immune system is repaired and reinforced during a long period of intense rest.
  • The body’s energy reserves are replenished.
  • Hormones- growth hormones are released for normal development
  • Metabolism regulation- our metabolism is set to burn calories efficiently.

In other words if we are not getting enough sleep we can be prone to infection and disease. Poor sleep also is also linked to the epidemic of obesity.

Memory When we sleep several cognitive functions are activated, one of the most important being memory. What we have learned gets filed into our long-term memory so we can retrieve it later. When asleep we rehearse procedures (patterns) that we have learned during the day (this is very important for learning mathematics, languages, sports, music.) these are activated in our procedural memory. It goes without saying that memory is a hugely important aspect of learning. Good students get adequate amounts of sleep so their brains are able to rehearse and file all they have learned throughout the day. Effective students do not stay up all night working!

What are the consequences of not getting enough sleep?

  • Hard to remember-because our filing system has not been organised
  • Low mood, poor behaviour or depression-poor sleep leads to a loss of perspective
  • Our Focus decreases so we suffer from poor concentration
  • Stress-our ability to deal with stressful situations decreases, we are prone to greater levels of
  • Slow metabolism-our metabolism doesn’t function as well, not getting enough sleep is linked to obesity.
  • Delayed growth and puberty. Sleep deprivation can lead to poor functioning of the endocrine (hormone) system
  • Poor immune system – not adequately repaired, we get sick more easily.

Next week we will look at sleep hygiene or good habits to ensure we get a good night’s sleep.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me




Our Campus


BANGKOK, 10110

77 สุขุมวิท 77 วัฒนา
กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110