- While we sleep our brains process and ‘file’ the experiences we have when awake so sleep is vital for memory.
- During sleep waste by-products of the days brain processes are expelled and new fuel is stored for the next day’s brain activity.
- Sleep has a vital role in the mastery of skills and learning.
When Samuel wakes for the fourth time at night and will not be settled without a feed, feelings of despair mixed with a small dose of panic come over his mom. She knows that he should not need a night feed at all at this stage and yet in their small house, with a toddler in the next-door room, she doesn’t know how else to settle him quickly and quietly. Four night-feeds later, her hours of sleep that night are less than the feeds he received… and it’s off to work for mom. Working a busy day is the reality for many moms and sleep deprivation is often part and parcel of returning to work. How well she functions is another issue. Why is it that we fall apart and all areas of our lives suffer on little sleep? Why is sleep so important? And why do we feel so rotten on broken sleep. Theories abound on the precise benefits of sleep but these are a few: