Sleep is defined by Webster as "the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored."
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Sleep is defined by philosophers as being in the Arms of Morpheus (The Greek God of Dreams) and therefore being temporarily dead. We are rendered "unconscious." It is in this state that we recoup whatever energy that we have lost during the busy hours of the day.
When we sleep, our body cells are energized and rejuvenated. This is done when certain cells in the brain and in the central nervous system are allowed to rest and are repaired by specific agents inside our body, like enzymes.
A person who is deprived of long hours of sleep will be lethargic, will lack muscle coordination, will have poor memory and concentration and will be irritable.
The longer a person is deprived of sleep the more his brain cells are stressed out. This will cause them to secrete substances which are harmful to the body.
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In extreme cases where there is longer deprivation of sleep, a person becomes incoherent and could be driven "insane."
For young persons, at least 10 hours of sleep is needed to enhance secretion of the growth hormone , a hormone responsible for growth of all cells in the body.
So don't be afraid to be seduced by the Arms of Morpheus. Give in graciously and get your much needed sleep to rejuvenate your body cells.