One of the most pertinent lessons that I have learnt about sleep is that sleep patterns vary from one individual to the next, as well as from one society to another (Myers, 2009, p.55). I have also learnt that sleep is important for a number of varied reasons. The important purposes of sleep in our lives are varied including the point that sleep helps us remember; it repairs and restores damaged tissues; supports physical growth; boosts thinking and learning and protects us at night (Myers, 2009). These are some of the reasons that Myers (2009) points out in his evaluation of the subject in his book.
A key aspect that stands out the most about the importance of sleep is that it helps improve our levels of creativity. As expressed in the chapter Why Do We Sleep? In the book ‘Psychology in Everyday Life’ by David Myers: “After working on a task, then sleeping on it, people solve problems more insightfully than do those who stay awake” (Myers, 2009, P. 56). I have learnt that without sleep, I may not be able to fully understand whatever I am being taught at school. Sleep ensures that people are able to process the information that they acquire and this makes it possible for them to solve problem more effectively, make better decisions and acquire new skills and knowledge. Therefore, with sleep I am able to constantly update my knowledge base as well as skill levels.
What I learnt the most is that sleep helps improve my cognitive capabilities and in turn levels of creativity. This is because I have experienced that I make better decisions as well as learn more effectively when I am well rested as opposed to when I have not slept for a long time. For instance there was a time I was engaged in group work with my peers and due to unavoidable circumstances I had to compile my part of the group work report last minute. I did my report late at night and as a result I did not have enough sleep and the next day we were compiling our group report. When we were going through the report as a group so that we could present a good, well synthesized and conclusive report I did not participate as actively as I always do. Most of the ideas and suggestions that I made were considered as not being appropriate. Later on after presenting the report and getting enough sleep, I began reflecting on how we compiled the report and realized that indeed the suggestions that I was making were not relevant. This means that if I had done my part early enough and received adequate sleep, I may have contributed constructively during the report compilation. From the example I have been able to realize that other than influencing the state of mind, sleep is able to influence how well individuals retain knowledge as well as how creative they can become.
The book chapter has taught me that people sleep so that they can be able to process their experiences as well as learn new things. People who sleep are able to make appropriate connections between various different pieces of information. This is what allows them to be more creative than the ones who do not sleep. From a general perspective, it can be said that we sleep so that we can be able to have healthy bodies and minds, and also so that we can be able to function appropriately.
- Myers, D. G. (2009). Psychology in Everyday Life. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.