5 Healthy Ways Sleep Heals Your Body
Why do people sleep? It is obvious that people sleep, but nobody knows the idea why. However, what is clear to everyone is that sufficient and quality sleep is important for the health.
You might think that your body shuts down during the night as you sleep. Your body actually heals itself as you nod off. Giving your body at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night gives it time to take care of you.
Here are five important things how sleep heals the body.
Regulates Hunger Hormones
Sleeping helps protect your waistline. A study conducted in the University of Chicago concluded that short sleep duration could result in increased hunger and appetite. With only a few hours of sleep, most people reach for high-calorie foods that can lead to weight gain.
Short sleep results in decreased leptin levels and increased ghrelin levels. Leptin functions as the appetite-suppressant. When you are full, it signals your brain that you already had enough to it. It is the hormone responsible for helping you resist foods that are high in calories. Meanwhile, ghrelin is the appetite-inducing hormone. In contrast to Leptin, it increases your hunger and cravings. It is also linked to anxiety and depression, giving you the tendency to eat emotionally.
Having a proper sleep helps regulate your body’s leptin and ghrelin levels, giving you the extra willpower to resist reaching out to a bag of chips or cookies.
Strengthens Your Memories
Sleep triggers changes in the brain that help solidify your memories. According to The National Sleep Foundation, having a healthy sleep puts you in the right state of mind to process, absorb, and retain the information you get during the day.
As you sleep, the brain replays through the brain activity patterns that occurred during the day. This does not only help organize your memory but also strengthens the microscopic connection between the nerve cells in your hippocampus.
Sleep does not only help you remember information long-term, but it also helps you to synthesize new ideas from the previous memories that you have.
Cleanses the Brain
Sleep helps restore the different parts of the brain by flushing out harmful proteins and toxins that build-up during waking hours, reducing the risks of diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. The brain has a drainage system that is based on the clear cerebrospinal fluid’s movement through the channels surrounding the blood vessels.
The result of a research published on July 10 showed that subjects with disrupted sleep had higher levels of beta-amyloid proteins in their brains. Sleeping less than five hours every night can lead to the build-up of beta-amyloid in the brain.Beta-amyloid is a toxic protein that forms harmful plaques in the brain that is associated with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Sleep detoxes the brain and flushes out the toxins including beta-amyloid proteins to reduce the risks of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. People with these diseases have high concentrations of beta-amyloid proteins, inflammation in the brain and damaged brain cells.
Heals From the Inside Out
During sleep, the brain triggers the release of hormones that promote tissue growth. This helps you in recovering from injuries or sore muscles from working out.
A research conducted by the University of California in San Francisco showed that people who sleep for 5 to 6 hours a night have 30% more chances of catching a cold when exposed to the virus while those who sleep for more than 7 hours have reduced risks of up to 17%.
Getting quality sleep also helps your body defend itself. While you sleep, your body makes more white blood cells that attack bacteria and viruses.
Guards the Heart
As you sleep, your blood pressure drops as well, giving your heart a break.
According to a study by Prather, Epel, Cohen, Neylan, and Whooley, poor quality of sleep increases your risk of high blood pressure that is a potential cause of heart diseases. Lack of sleep also increases your insulin resistance, a risk factor for the development of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Sleep decreases your stress hormones and lowers your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, reducing your risks of acquiring heart diseases.
Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. It is involved not only in healing but also repairing your body. If you are experiencing problems with sleeping, seek professional help from a sleep expert, like a dentist specializing in sleep disorders, to help you.