Importance of sleep and what a lack of sleep does to your health
young man trouble sleeping

The Importance of Sleep and what a Lack of Sleep Does to Your Health

Face the truth:

Fck up sleep and …

  • You work like a stoned cheetah hunts: Neither effective, nor successful
  • Your brain SHRINKS
  • You’re moody and a pain to live with
  • You can’t build muscles no matter how fired up you work out
  • You can’t lose weight no matter how healthy you eat
  • You certainly DON’T live at your best

The point is: Screw up sleep and you SUCK AT EVERYTHING.


Or at least, you’re doing much worse than you could…

You have 2 options now:

Option 1: If you’re fine with being average, living below your potential, having a worse health and body than you deserve, and just not being the best version of yourself, then you’re excused. You can leave now.

Option 2: If you're not fine with those mediocre things and want to live up to your potential, have a healthy and sexy body, be smarter, and successful like a peaking cheetah, then you definitely want to read on and learn the following things:

  • What the heck is sleep anyway?
  • How much sleep do I need?
  • Why you shouldn’t CHEAT sleep (scientifically PROVEN)
  • My personal NO. 1 SLEEP AID
  • Hell on earth: Sleep Deprivation


You chose the winner’s option.

Let’s jump right in!

What the Heck Is Sleep Anyway?

Humans spend 1/3 of their life sleeping

This is crazy:

We spend of our life with it, but we know very little about it: SLEEP.

So, let’s quickly look at what sleep is, and WHY we need it.

Sleep defined by The Free Dictionary:

A natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost, so that there is a decrease in bodily movement and responsiveness to external stimuli.

Here we go.

Sleep is a NATURAL state of REST for mind and body.

Sleep is natural, and here are the reasons WHY we need to sleep:

  • Research revealed that during sleep our brains get cleared from metabolic waste products that accumulate during wakefulness –> Glymphatic System
  • Our brains consolidate memories during sleep [1]
  • Sleep keeps our immune system healthy [2]
  • During sleep the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle [3]

Many highly important activities are happening during sleep…

However, the Natural Sleep Foundation states that “Exactly how this happens and why our bodies are programmed for such a long period of slumber is still somewhat of a mystery.”

So, sleep is a mystery…

Before we look closer at the importance of sleep, let’s look at different sleep stages and at how much sleep you need.

Sleep is the golden chain that binds health and our bodies together. – Thomas Dekker

Your Eyes Move Rapidly During Sleep

A sleep cycle takes around 90 minutes

You’ve probably heard this in school some years ago.

Just in case you were more of a “too cool to pay attention” type of school boy/girl, here’s a quick recap of the sleep stages.

There are 2 broad categories of sleep and 5 sleep stages:

1. NREM: Non-rapid eye movement sleep

  • Stage 1: Falling asleep; it’s the transition from wakefulness to light sleep.
  • Stage 2: Light sleep; your body temperature and heart rate drop, and your body gets ready for deep sleep.
  • Stages 3 & 4: Deep sleep or delta sleep; that’s when your body repairs itself, it’s the physical restoration stage of sleep.

2. REM: Rapid eye movement sleep

  • Stage 5: REM sleep, you restore your nervous system and process information, that’s when you dream most vividly. The first REM sleep stage takes around 10 minutes, and each later REM stages will take longer. It’s the mental restoration stage of sleep.

All the 5 sleep stages together make a whole sleep cycle. One sleep cycle usually takes around 90 minutes.

You can think of it as follows:

You fall asleep (1). Then you get into light sleep (2), later into deep sleep (3&4). Then your sleep gets lighter again and you end up in REM sleep (5). After REM sleep your body awakens briefly and then returns to sleep stage 1, and a new cycle begins.

To feel completely refreshed in the morning you need between 4 and 6 complete sleep cycles. So, five sleep cycles of 90 minutes would give you 7 ½ hours of sleep.

Personally, I feel that my sleep cycles vary quite a bit from 90 minutes.

Bottom line: You sleep in cycles of approximately 90 minutes. Naturally you would always just wake up after REM sleep when your sleep is light.


How Much Sleep Do I Need?

How much sleep do we need?

This is a toughie.

And there’s no magic number.

The amount of sleep a person requires depends on various factors such as age, genetics, diet, how much exercise a person gets, overall health, and many other factors.

So, the ideal amount of sleep varies for every individual. For the vast majority it lies somewhere in between 7 and 9 hours [4].

However, a recent study that looked at three pre-industrial societies (the Hadza, which are foragers of Northern Tanzania; the San, which are hunter-gatherers in Namibia; and then the Tsimane, which are semi-nomadic people out of the Andean foothills in Bolivia) found that these societies actually only sleep between 5.7 and 7.1 hours a night. Yet the sleep periods were averaged 6.9 – 8.5 hours a night (that’s the time spent in bed, or the “down time”).

And these 7 to 8 ½ is what I aim at. Personally, I believe that these societies have a much better sleep quality than we have because they have a solid rhythm, no technological devices, and it’s dark after sunset except for the bonfire. And this might be a reason why we need even more down time than such indigenous cultures do.

Bottom line: The ideal sleep duration varies from person to person. So, you need to find out yourself on how much sleep you run best.

As promised earlier, we’ll now look at why you want to get enough sleep.

(NOTE: Do you want to fall asleep within a few minutes every night? Use this checklist which outlines the 4 steps I personally use. You can get it for free here.)

Why You Don’t Want To Cheat Sleep

Cheat sleep and suddenly Mr. or Ms. POTENTIAL looks like a picture of misery and acts like that stoned cheetah…

Haha, this reminds me of an article that said that the effects of sleep deprivation are equal to binge drinking…

Anyway, before we go closer into some more nasty effects of sleep deprivation, let’s quickly RECAP what sleep does.

Sleep is a natural state of rest for mind and body and we sleep in order to…

  • Clear the brain from metabolic waste products (glymphatic system)
  • Consolidate memories during sleep
  • Keep our immune system healthy
  • Repair and regrow tissues, and build bone and muscle

So, THAT’S what happens when we sleep.

Now, when we cheat sleep, we don’t give our body enough time to do all of these important things… And that’s called sleep deprivation.

And that’s…

HELL ON EARTH: Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is a bitch


That’s the sweet laugh of the Devil Sleep Deprivation.

So, what is so bad about getting too little sleep? (Scientifically proven!)

  • You’re less happy and more likely to be depressed and anxious [5 6 7]
  • You have WORSE SEX [8]
  • You won’t build muscle and you won’t lose weight [9 10 11 12]
  • Your BRAIN SHRINKS [13]
  • You’re more likely to get sick and suffer from headaches [14 15]
  • You drive worse [16]
  • You’re less productive [17]
  • And and and… [18]

We could go on and on.

The point is: You SUCK AT EVERYTHING when you’re sleep deprived.

Look, I’ve had many nights with too little sleep and I’m still alive, but in the long run having too little sleep will gradually make you worse and worse. Less healthy, less mentally fit, less sexy, and an overall less like you want to be.

One night of too little sleep can be paid back [19], but years of sleeping too little will definitely make you worse – much worse than a stoned cheetah, more like a cheetah that can’t hunt successfully, doesn’t feel like procreating, doesn’t remember where he lives, and looks more like a bedraggled hyena than a majestic cheetah…

You get my point.

YOU with enough sleep = Majestic Cheetah

YOU sleep deprived = Bedraggled Hyena

Who do you choose to be?

My No.1 Sleep Aid

Know the value of sleep

Want to know my no. 1 sleep aid?

It’s easy:

Know the value of a good night’s sleep.

If you know the value of a good night’s sleep, you’re much more likely to actually PRIORITIZE that sleep.

That’s the key.

You need to prioritize sleep above everything else.

There’s nothing that can stop you from getting the sleep you need in order to live at your best.

  • No TV show
  • No Facebook
  • No homework
  • No party
  • No soccer game
  • No phone call with your BFF
  • No work
  • No nothing!

Look, I’m NOT suggesting you live like my GRANDMA and go to bed super early each and every night, never go partying, never watch the final of your favorite sports game, and never have a late night help call with your best friend.

I’m suggesting you generally PRIORITIZE SLEEP. That’s all.

That’s important if you want to live at your best, look the hottest, and be the most majestic cheetah in the whole savanna.


There you go.

That’s my no. 1 sleep aid, seriously. If you know the value of sleep, you definitely do not want to miss out on it.

Remember, you choose between

Get better sleep
  • The evil sleep deprived bedraggled and fur of lice hyena


  • The peaking majestic muscular and super powerful cheetah

A choice has never been easier.

Be wise and prioritize your sleep.

So, what could you cut back on in order to get more sleep? Leave a comment below.

(NOTE: Do you want to fall asleep within a few minutes every night? Use this checklist which outlines the 4 steps I personally use. You can get it for free here.)

Jonas Salzgeber

What's up? My name's Jonas. I'm Swiss (not Swedish). I'm a life enthusiast and I'm curious about everything that gives me an advantage, boost, level upgrade... "That drink will make me unbeatable? I'll down it!" Haha. My motto? Go to bed a little wiser every day & be the best version of yourself.

  • John says:

    The brain shrinks on too little sleep… crazy. I should definitely cut back on TV series.

  • Rhodoy says:

    If it was hard to sleep, whether using sleeping pills was good?

  • Fantastic article!! Thanks for sharing this post about Sleep Deprivation! It was very interesting and I really enjoyed reading it..

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  • Vid says:

    Sleep helps the body recuperate from several diseases and other health problems. The insistence on rest when you suffer from even a minor headache is not without a reason. It is only while you are asleep that your body gets a chance to repair its damaged cells and strengthen the immune system. This, thereby, prevents the onset of other health problems. Also, sleeping well can help you deal better with the physical and mental stress that your body and mind are subjected to on a daily basis.

  • I learned a lot from the post, love it!. Thanks for sharing! Please keep posting the interesting articles like this in the future

  • Jim Awofadeju says:

    What I could cut back on in order to get more sleep is screen time. I don’t have a habit of watching TV for long periods of time, but I use my computer and smartphone every day. Computers and smartphones are necessary in the world we live in and there’s so much information I could read about or topics of interest I could explore. My computer and smartphone are always in my bedroom and sometimes I wake up to check something on my smartphone because I think I may forget if I don’t.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jim.

      Agree, the amount of information we can find online is limitless. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t limit our screen time, though 🙂
      Maybe you could simply write those ideas down on a piece of paper and check them the next day. This will surely improve your sleep quality.

      However, I must say it’s definitely smarter to use the screens to read and learn rather than watching series.
      Sleep tight 🙂

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