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12 Fakta Menakjubkan Tentang Tidur

Di tengah kesibukan aktivitas setiap hari, masih banyak di antara kita yang kurang menyempatkan diri sejenak untuk beristirahat. Pada manusia, mamalia lain dan sebagian besar hewan lainnya, tidur yang teratur sangat diperlukan untuk kelangsungan hidup.
Pada tahun 1913, Ilmuwan Prancis Henri Pieron menulis buku Le physiologique sommeil du probleme. Ini adalah tulisan pertama untuk mengkaji tidur dari perspektif fisiologis. Karyanya dianggap sebagai awal dari pendekatan modern untuk penelitiantentang tidur. 
Dr Nathaniel Kleitman, yang dikenal sebagai 'bapak riset tidur Amerika', mengawali penelitiannya di Chicago pada 1920 dengan mempertanyakan aturan tentang tidur, terjaga dan ritme sirkardian. Riset penting Kleitman meliputi studi karakteristik tidur pada populasi yang berbeda serta efek dari kurang tidur.Pada 1953 , dia dan muridnya, Dr Eugene Aserinsky, menemukan hal penting yakni mekanismerapid eye movement (REM) saat tidur.   Menurut Kleitman, pada masa lalu manfaat tidur sering kali diabaikan. Munculnya pemahaman  tentang pentingnya tidur bagi kesehatan pun terbilang masih baru. Padahal, ketika seseorang tidur kurang dari enam atau tujuh jam setiap malam, risiko terkena penyakit akan meningkat.
Berikut ini adalah 12 alasan mengapa tidur penting bagi kesehatan Anda :
1. Jantung sehat.  Jantung Anda akan lebih sehat jika Anda mendapatkan antara tujuh dan sembilan jam tidur setiap malam. Ini membantu menenangkan sistem saraf dan menghilangkan stres akibat kesibukan kerja.
2. Menekan resiko kanker. Orang yang bekerja shift malam berisiko lebih tinggi terkena kanker payudara dan kanker usus besar. Para peneliti percaya bahwa ini disebabkan perbedaan tingkat hormon melatonin pada orang yang terkena cahaya lampu di malam hari.
Paparan cahaya lampu dapat mengurangi tingkat melatonin. Melatonin merupakan hormon yang melindungi tubuh dari kanker. Melatonin muncul untuk menekan pertumbuhan tumor. Pastikan bahwa kamar tidur Anda gelap untuk membantu tubuh Anda memproduksi melatonin yang dibutuhkan.
3. Mengurangi risiko hipertensi.  Stres juga disebabkan oleh kekurangan tidur. Seseorang yang mengalami stres bisa berakibat buruk jika berkepanjangan, karena fungsi tubuh selalu dalam siaga tinggi. Hal ini menyebabkan peningkatan tekanan darah dan peningkatan produksi hormon stres.
4. Menghambat penuaan. Hormon-hormon stres juga membuat lebih sulit bagi Anda untuk tidur. Anda berada di lingkaran berbahaya. Hormon stres juga bisa mengganggu keseimbangan hormon-hormon lain sehingga mempercepat proses penyakit dan proses penuaan.
5. Kewaspadaan. Tidur nyenyak pada malam hari membuat sistem internal Anda seperti sistem kekebalan tubuh menjadi lebih waspada dan hidup.
6. Tajamkan ingatan. Saat bermimpi dan tidur nyenyak adalah waktu yang penting bagi otak Anda untuk beristirahat. Mendapatkan tidur lebih berkualitas akan membantu Anda mengingat lebih baik.
7. Turunkan berat badan. Mereka yang tidur kurang dari tujuh jam per malam lebih mungkin berat badannya naik. Kurang tidur juga berdampak terhadap keseimbangan hormon dalam tubuh yang mempengaruhi nafsu makan. Hormon ghrelin dan leptin, yang seharusnya penting untuk pengaturan nafsu makan, menjadi terganggu akibat kurang tidur.
8. Cegah sakit jantung. Tidur siang hari menjadi alternatif yang efektif untuk melindungi kesehatan dan membuat Anda lebih produktif. Sebuah penelitian terhadap 24.000 orang dewasa di Yunani menunjukkan bahwa orang yang tidur siang beberapa kali seminggu berisiko yang lebih rendah kematian akibat penyakit jantung
9. Tingkat stres rendah. Orang-orang yang tidur siang di tempat kerja memiliki tingkat stres jauh lebih rendah. Tidur siang juga meningkatkan memori, fungsi kognitif dan suasana hati. Tidur siang hari, yang kadang disebut "kekuatan tidur siang", adalah salah satu rahasia keberhasilan Presiden ke-40 Amerika Serikat, Ronald Reagan.
10. Turunkan risiko depresi. Tidur mempengaruhi banyak unsur kimia dalam tubuh Anda, termasuk serotonin. Orang yang kekurangan serotonin biasanya akan menderita depresi. Anda dapat membantu mencegah depresi dengan memastikan Anda memperoleh jumlah tidur yang tepat.
11. Menyembuhkan. Tidur adalah waktu bagi tubuh Anda untuk memperbaiki kerusakan yang disebabkan stres, sinar ultraviolet dan paparan zat berbahaya lainnya. Tidur juga merupakan waktu untuk membuang racun yang terakumulasi selama beraktivitas seharian.
12. Menghasilkan protein lebih banyak.  Sel-sel Anda biasanya akan menghasilkan lebih banyak protein saat Anda sedang tidur. Molekul membentuk blok bangunan untuk sel, yang memungkinkan mereka untuk memperbaiki kerusakan. Tidur menyembuhkan sakit kepala atau pun selesma.