So here are the benefits of sleep,
It is a major time when our bodies recover and grow, which is obviously beneficial.
It also contributes to mental well being (everyone knows how hard it is to focus when you haven't had enough sleep or when you feel groggy after sleeping for way too long) It helps to consolidate memories learning and generally helps your brain to recover from the stresses of the day you just had, often the best cure for a headache is a quick nap.
|This is honestly the best photo of somebody asleep that was safe for work and also didn't look horrendously staged|
What Happens If You Don't Sleep Right?
If you don't get enough sleep then , for one you'll grumpy all day, you won't be able to focus and you won't want to workout or do anything really. This is because your brain hasn't had time to recover and neither has your body. This means you'll be sore and you muscles won't grow (or could even be broken down) just because you didn't manage to get 6 hours of sleep.
If you get too much sleep, then it's not so much of a big deal, as you've got the growth and repair down to a tee. However it makes you slower and lazier. This is because you're asleep at the time of day in which your body clock is at it's highest metabolism, this means you won't get as effective workouts and also you'll miss the time of day in which you should be at your most alert and focused.
What you should be aiming for is 6-8 hours of good sleep, as I've said before. It's also important to time when you sleep well (which we all know doesn't happen that often).
The reason that a "normal" sleeping pattern has you sleep anywhere from 11-8 is that this is the time that your internal body clock makes it easiest to sleep, this means that (regardless of your environment) your metabolism is at it's lowest, your brain function is lowest, your heart rate, your blood pressure etc. are all at their lowest point during the night time hours. This is all because of a specific hormone called melatonin.
So if you are having real trouble getting your sleep in the right place, talk to your doctor and you'll probablyo get some drugs that contain melatonin, it will help to synchronise your wake/sleep cycle with the day/night cycle, if you can synchronise this by yourself then by all means do so.
This doesn't mean you can't game or party into the early hours of the morning ever again, it just means that you should try to have a normal sleep pattern for the majority of the time.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to put them down below :)