Sleep is critically important for several reasons:
Wound Healing and Immune System: Sleep plays a crucial role in wound healing and the functioning of our immune system. It's a period where our brain is in an idle state, not controlling anything, allowing our body to focus on healing and recovery.
Learning and Memory Consolidation: Sleep is essential for learning and consolidating that learning. It's during sleep that our brain processes and stores new information.
Emotional Regulation: REM sleep, in particular, is important for attaching emotions to experiences and unlearning emotional responses if they're too intense or severe. Lack of REM sleep can lead to emotional instability and an increased tendency to catastrophize.
Metabolism: Quality, depth, and duration of sleep are important for daytime metabolism. Different stages of sleep allow our body and brain to transition through various forms of metabolism, which is beneficial for our overall health and performance.
In essence, mastering sleep is not just about the quantity but also the quality and timing of sleep. It's about accessing deep states of non-thinking and ensuring we transition through all the different stages of sleep.