Sleeping Does Not Mean That Your Body Is Not Doing Anything!

Photo by Chris Thompson on Unsplash

We spend about one-third of our lives asleep. Considering how busy is modern life, sleep seems as irretrievably lost and downtime. But far from being wasted time, from the moment we slide into unconsciousness, a whole raft of functions takes place to make sure that we get optimal benefit from our nightly rest. When we sleep well, we wake up feeling refreshed and alert for our daily activities. Sleep affects how we look, feel and perform on a daily basis, and can have a major impact on our overall quality of life. Here’s what’s actually happens to your body during sleep.

Your Body Temperature Goes Way Down

When we’re active during the day, we burn more calories, so lowering temperature is a way to reduce the burn rate and save calories. “It’s like how bears hibernate,” says Dr. Avi Ishaaya, a sleep specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCLA. “Sleep is a survival mechanism.”

You’re Building Muscle

You know rest days matter, but if you take your workouts seriously, you should also take your evenings seriously. “Sleep is key for basic properties of healing and cellular restitution,” says Payne. During deep sleep phases, your body releases human growth hormone, which helps rebuild damaged tissue and contributes to stronger muscles. Research out of Stanford also found that with five to seven weeks of 10 hours of rest a night, athletes increased their speed, accuracy, and reaction times.

Your Brain Goes To Work

You might think your brain is completely tuned out at night, but in reality, it’s working as hard as it does when you are awake — it’s just working on different stuff. In fact, ” the brain waves seen in REM sleep resemble the brain waves of someone awake,” said Dr. Robert Oexman, the director of the Sleep to Live Institute. Oexman explained that during sleep, we see an increase in cerebral spinal fluid that helps remove waste from the brain. During REM sleep, our brains are active in the areas that are associated with dreaming and the storage of memories. That’s why many sleep experts think our dreams are the brain’s way of processing information and storing useful tidbits for later use.

Your Skin Repairs Itself

The top layer of the skin is made of closely packed dead cells which are constantly shed during day. During deep sleep, the skin’s metabolic rate speeds up and many of the body’s cells show increased production and reduced breakdown of proteins. Since proteins are the building blocks needed for cell growth and for the repair of damage from factors like ultraviolet rays, deep sleep may indeed be beauty sleep.

Daytime sleep will not compensate for loss of nightly ‘beauty sleep’ as the energy needed for tissue repair is not available during daylight because it is being used elsewhere.

Your Eyes Twitch

During REM (aka rapid eye movement) sleep, your eyes dart from side to side, not that scientists know why exactly. Dreams occur during REM sleep, so it can be disconcerting to wake up during this deep—not light—sleep stage. You might feel most refreshed if you wake up right after you cycle through all the sleep stages, with REM occurring toward the end. Though it varies from person to person, one sleep cycle usually lasts 90 minutes, so try sleeping in intervals of 90 minutes. For example, you may find it easier to awaken after sleeping for 7.5 hours (five cycles) than after 8 hours (5⅓ cycles).

Your Immune System Is At Its All-time High

It has been shown that sleep deprivation affects the immune system. One study showed that people who received flu shots and were sleep-deprived the next night did not create the antibodies required to protect against the flu. Therefore, if you notice the first signs of an infection, try to sleep as long as you can to give your immune system time to beat the illness.

You Get Paralysed

In the REM stage of sleep, the muscles in your arms get temporarily paralyzed. Don’t worry, this is not the same as sleep paralysis, which is a sleeping disorder marked by paralysis a few seconds after a person wakes up, and can be extremely scary. This paralysis is completely normal and it happens to everyone in the deepest stage of sleep, so we don’t even know it happens.

Slows Down Your Kidneys

Kidneys normally function to filter toxins out of the bloodstream and to produce urine. As you sleep, the filtering action of these organs slows, so that less urine is produced. (That’s the reason your urine is usually so dark the first time you pee in the morning.)

Your Blood Pressure Plummets

Total-body relaxation results in something called a “nocturnal dipping” of your blood pressure, Veasey says. If you’re otherwise fit, your blood pressure can drop by about 5 to 7 points with a good night’s sleep.

Sources & References:
www.cosmopolitan.com
www.shape.com
www.mnn.com
www.dailymail.co.uk
www.womansday.com
list25.com
www.indiatimes.com
www.sparkpeople.com
www.prevention.com

Healthy Food MasterGeneral Healthblood pressure,brain,immune system,muscle function,sleep
Photo by Chris Thompson on Unsplash We spend about one-third of our lives asleep. Considering how busy is modern life, sleep seems as irretrievably lost and downtime. But far from being wasted time, from the moment we slide into unconsciousness, a whole raft of functions takes place to make sure that we get...
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