MAR 25, 2016 1:39 PM PDT

Why You Should Always Insist on Your Beauty Rest

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Some people insist on at least seven to eight hours of beauty rest, while some claim to only need four hours. However many hours of sleep people swear by, we all know that sleep is necessary for normal functioning. But if you really think about it, sleep is an odd bodily requirement that we all do. After all, when we sleep, we are unconscious and paralyzed, completely vulnerable to harm. Without sleep, however, everything goes awry.

When the body doesn't sleep, all functions are affected. Your eyes can't focus, your blood pressure skyrockets, and your brain starts to hallucinate. Keep this up and death may even occur, as is the result of a rare genetic disorder called fatal familial insomnia (FFI). This rare condition causes severe insomnia that eventually leads to dementia followed by death.

Scientists are still working out what happens in the brain when we doze off. They think sleep time is an essential component to brain recovery - a time when neuron connections are pruned and enhanced, when waste products get cleaned out. Dreams probably also play an important role in the recovery process, though scientists still don't know how and why we dream. Watch the video to learn more about why you need your beauty rest every night!
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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