Sleep recharges your batteries so that you can perform at work and at play. The way you feel while you're awake depends in part on what happens while you're sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens sleep also helps support growth and development. Eating large meals or drinking alcohol prior to going to bed will mean a less energising sleep as your body will be using up energy digesting the food and revved up from the alcohol.
The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as a car crash), or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others. Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you're sleeping your brain is preparing for the next day. It's forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information.
Studies show that a good night's sleep improves learning. Whether you're learning math, how to play the piano, how to perfect your golf swing, or how to drive a car, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative.
Studies also show that sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain. If you're sleep deficient you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency has also been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.