What happens to the body during sleep?

The theories about passivity during sleep were refuted long ago. When we fall asleep, a number of regenerative processes occur in our body. Our cells are renewed, we produce growth hormone, and a very important body repair process is activated. What’s more, the brain organizes all the information it collects when we’re awake and combines it into ordered memories. What exactly happens to the body when we enter the sleep phase?

We become beautiful at night

Sleep medicine talks about its five stages – waking, falling asleep, light sleep, deep sleep, and finally the REM phase, i.e. dreaming. Together they constitute a cycle lasting approx. 90-100 minutes, followed by a short, imperceptible awakening. Then, another sleep cycle begins. Adults undergo four to six such sequences in one night. In the first of the phases, also called NREM (non-rapid eye movement), body temperature drops, heart rate slows down, breathing is regulated, the kidneys produce less urine, and muscles relax.

It is then, an hour after falling asleep, that our sleep usually produces the deepest and most effective rest. In subsequent phases, many changes take place within the skin.  It becomes firmer and regenerative processes take place in the cells. Growth hormone is also released which is responsible for the renewal of the epidermis. Cortisol is also produced, which is designed to inhibit inflammatory processes. After the first phase, dreams begin to appear, our breathing becomes faster and our blood pressure higher.

Sleep heals wounds

An interesting subject of research is also the work of the brain during sleep. Matthew Walker, author of the book “Why we sleep”, compares sleep activities to psychotic states. We see things that do not exist, so they are hallucinations. We are also delusional, we are confused in time and space, we experience violent emotional states, and often we do not remember most of the dreams, which can be compared to amnesia.

The professor also believes that if any of the symptoms happened to us in the waking state, we would be referred to a psychiatrist for appropriate treatment. Fortunately, this is a normal process of our brain that does its work during rest. Most notably, in the REM phase, all the information we have recently acquired is organized. The brain creates catalogues of memories and finds connections between past situations that we had not noticed before.

That is why we fall asleep with the problem and in the morning, we wake up with a head full of ideas to solve it. We advise you to “sleep on the problem” for a reason. During sleep, the brain undergoes therapy – it gains distance from problems and trauma, which is why in the morning we often feel cleansed of negative emotions.

Difficulty sleeping

Depending on the place where we live, we need 4 to 9 hours of sleep per day. Normally, seven hours is enough time to undergo the necessary regenerative processes and to activate our brain. However, there are people who, despite enormous fatigue, are not able to go into any phase of rest.

Today, it is said that even half of humanity struggles with this problem, including children. If you have already followed all the doctor’s recommendations, and still struggling with insomnia, it is worth thinking about whether your subconscious requires signals about its state of safety. Often subconscious anxiety, frustration and a multitude of stimuli disrupt the proper functioning of the nervous system by sending information to the brain about a state of emergency. In such situations, appropriate sensory bedding may be the remedy.

According to psychologists and psychiatrists, a duvet, blanket or pillow with weighted filling significantly improves sleep quality, by soothing and calming down your mind. Particularly noticeable changes were noted in the quality of sleep of young children who were using sensory bedding.

Let’s remember that sleep affects every aspect of our lives and finds solutions to many of life’s problems. It is actually sleep that heals wounds rather than time. Let us make good use of it. After all, all you have to do is… go to sleep.

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