What happens when we sleep?
Dec 5th, 2018
Why we sleep
Sleep is one of our fundamental biological needs, along with breathing and eating. Every animal, fish, bird, and insect on earth sleeps and whilst it used to be believed that our brains and bodies simply turned off whilst we slept, with recent research, we’re beginning to get a deeper understanding of the important restorative effects of sleep.
Sleep is not just a period of rest, it’s actually a time where some vital bodily functions happen
Our cardiac system gets a vital reset, blood pressure lowers and our heart rate drops
Our brain cleanses itself of beta-amyloid, a toxic compound that builds up during waking hours
Our immune system is boosted and we’re able to ward off illness and disease
Hormones are released that help balance our appetite, and avoid weight gain
We commit our experiences and learnings from the day to memory, and without sleep, we’re unable to file those memories in our brains.
Our muscles recover from the exertion of the day and growth hormones are released leading to muscle development
During R.E.M, the dream stage of sleep, it is believed we deal with emotions and events or unlearn memories
If all of these things happen whilst we sleep, fostering quality sleep habits is absolutely fundamental to good health. Investing in sleep is the easiest, cheapest and most important decisions you can make towards improving your health.