Sleep is something natural that we normally think as of a necessity. There are many things that are happening to our bodies during sleep making it one of the most useful times of the day. Of course, our bodies naturally recover from exercise and illness while we sleep but do you actually know exactly what your body does when you are asleep?
Brain sort out
Even though your consciousness goes blank, your brain doesn’t stop. While you are not busy doing anything else, your brain has time to process everything that happened during the day. The information gets sorted into categories which later on become your long term memory. So if you want to remember something, sleep on it.
Hormones play a crucial role in the functioning of our body. During sleep, high amounts of different hormones are released to boost growth, recovery and control sleep cycles. Melatonin controls how fast you fall asleep and wake up and can be influenced by the amount of light and the temperature in your room. Growth hormone on the other hand repairs damage and helps growth (dah!).
Our stress hormone, cortisol, naturally decreases just after we fall asleep. This way the body is relaxed and ready to be restored for another day. However, the hormone rises again just after you wake up. That’s the reason you are perky and crave that coffee in the morning. Make sure to get enough sleep as cortisol levels tend to increase if you didn’t have enough sleep the night before.
REM Sleep – Dreaming & Optimizing
REM is the stage when you dream the most. It is characterized by rapid eye movements (hence the name), however, your pulse, breathing and blood pressure slows down. This is the time when brain goes through information stored and “deletes” everything it considers unnecessary. Now you know why your head feels clear in the morning.
As you probably know you shed thousands of dead skin cells a day. Even though the skin slowly recovers on its own, at night the metabolic rate speeds up and skin recovers from physical damage (like scratches and wounds) as well as sun damage. This beauty sleep is what you need to stay looking young.
Weight loss in your sleep is not very obvious but still very necessary. As discussed above, growth hormones help with body recovery which also helps with weight loss. Additionally, you lose water weight by breathing out humid air which is not significant during day. Simple but effective.
Toxins are removed from your body constantly but during your sleep this process is highly effective. Both your brain and your body go through a clean up thus you wake up almost like a new person.
During sleep people actually wake up very often when they transide between sleep stages. Why don’t you know about it? Because they are so short that the mind doesn’t register it. And to stop you getting up for toilet breaks body even releases special hormone to hold your needs till morning.