When we sleep, we dream. Everybody does it. You probably won’t remember what you dream most of the time, but you definitely do dream. If you didn’t, you’d die. Why? Because dreaming occurs during REM sleep, and dreaming performs essential functions to continued brain health. Like a lot of other things that happen in your brain while you slumber through the night, chemicals get to work, sorting out stuff, building more stuff, and generally doing all the heavy lifting so that you can get up the next morning and function properly as a human being.
What Does Sleep Do For Us?
- Sleep improves your memory. Chemicals produced during sleep organise and consolidate your memories from the previous day, making them more solid and easier to access. Sleep also helps clarify the memories, retaining a sharper or more intense memory rather than just a hazy memory.
- During sleep, your body produces Serotonin. This chemical affects a number of things in the body, including mood control and gut movements. Insufficient Serotonin can lead to depression and gastro-instestinal problems. This is why having a good night’s sleep puts us in a great mood the next day, while missing out on sleep makes us grumpy. Serotonin is the mood wonder-drug.
- Serotonin also helps control appetite. Once you commence eating, Serotonin reduces the appetite accordingly, preventing you from over-eating. Insufficient sleep means insufficient Serotonin, which inhibits your body recognizing when you’re full and you end up hungry all day.
- When you’re hungry all day from insufficient Serotonin, you’re more likely to crave high carbohydrate foods. This is because they increase the levels of insulin in your body, which drives the production of more Serotonin. Unfortunately, this can also encourage you to over-eat – and also why we all feel like eating chocolate as an afternoon pick-me-up when we’re tired.
- Sleep directly affects your immune system. Chronic sleep deprivation will make you a perfect target for every little germ that comes along. Getting a good night’s sleep every night will help keep you healthy.
- Helps keep your neurons firing in the brain. When you sleep, your neurons have a sleep too, and in the process, expel toxins and repair damage so that when you’re awake, you’re firing on all thrusters, so to speak. This makes you more alert and aware during the day and helps you to think through complex plans and creative ideas.
- Tissue repair happens while you’re asleep – especially repairing damage by UV radiation. Get enough sleep and your skin will look much better.
- Helps you resist temptation. That’s right – getting enough sleep makes it much, much easier to say no to that extra piece of chocolate cake that you know is going to make you sick, but looks too good to leave. Having a good night’s sleep under your belly will help you not over-fill your belly the next day.
- Helps keep your blood-pressure normal. People who consistently get insufficient sleep are a lot more likely to have high blood-pressure which can damage organs such as kidneys and liver.
This is just a short list of the major benefits of getting those wonderful 8 hours. In our final part will be some good, solid and practical solutions to helping you get enough sleep. Having just had a huge sleep over the last two days, I can honestly tell you that it feels fantastic! I’ve done more in a few hours this morning than I did in the last 3 days put together.
- Don’t be deprived of sleep, or else… (beinghealthyhomeandaway.blogspot.com)
- The Functions of Seratonin in the Body (naturalmedicine.suite101.com)
- Having Trouble Sleeping? (webmd.com)
- Sweet Dreams: How Sleep Deprivation Makes You Fat & Depressed – Part 2
- Sweet Dreams: How Sleep Deprivation Makes You Fat & Depressed – Part 3
- Sweet Dreams: How Sleep Deprivation Makes You Fat & Depressed – Part 1
- Causes of Obesity Part 2 – 11 Ways Your Body Makes You Over-Eat
- The Real Causes of Obesity – Part 1