Sleep is an amazing process that boosts our overall health and happiness. Have you ever wondered exactly happens while you snooze? Sleep restores your body every night to prepare for the next day. Here’s a list of how specific regions of your body are affected by sleep that we found on Body+Soul:
Your eyes: As you get into deep sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep begins. Your eyes move quickly for up to 30 minutes at time, repeating every 90 minutes. Most of your dreams will occur during this stage.
Your mouth: Saliva flow reduces, resulting in a dry mouth in the morning. It is estimated that 1 in 10 adults unconsciously grind their teeth at night.
Your hormones: During sleep, growth hormones are release to boost muscle mass and repair cells and tissues. Hormones that control your appetite can become imbalanced when you skip out of sleep, leading to weight gain.
Your heart and blood: Both your blood pressure and heart rate fall by 10%. People who sleep 7-8 hours typically have the lowest blood pressure. One study found that people with insomnia have a 45% increased chance of having a heart attack.
Your immune system: A lack of sleep leaves your body vulnerable to infections that can cause a cold or the flu. Less than 7 hours of sleep reduces much need antibodies, according to researchers.
Your brain: Your cerebral cortex, where thought processing occurs, finally gets a chance to rest. The brain’s plasticity is maintained by sleep, helping up learn and process.
Your skin: After a great of sleep do you look better, it’s not a figment of your imagination. Water retention under the skin flattens out wrinkles, but they will reappear as the water drains away. Your skin is also repaired by nocturnal growth hormones as you sleep.
Your body temperature: Right before you fall asleep, your core temperature drops to give you a great night of sleep. Often times insomniacs have a warmer core temperature which makes it difficult to fall asleep.
These processes are vital to your overall well-being. Make it a priority to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to allow your body the full time it needs to prepare you for the next day!