Understanding the art of sleep?

What is sleep?

Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, inhibited sensory activity (sleeping persons perceive fewer stimuli, but can generally respond to loud noises and other salient sensory events), inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles, and reduced interactions with the surroundings.

Why is sleep important?

Many people associate deep sleep with a period of total shutdown of all processes but this is not the case. Some body activities like processing, restoration, and strengthening kicks in when we switch off to sleep. We go to sleep to allow the body carry out its natural process of renewal and restoration.  Exactly how this happens is purely Gods settings. We are yet to comprehend fully how this happen but we feel fresh and full of energy in the morning if we had a good night  sleep. Scientists are still studying what actually happens when we switch ton dreamland.

What happens when we sleep?

One of the vital roles of sleep is to help us solidify and consolidate memories. As we go about our day, our brain takes in an incredible amount of information. Rather than being directly logged and recorded, these facts and experiences first need to be processed and stored. This happen while we sleep. Overnight, bits and pieces of information are transferred from more tentative, short-term memory to stronger, long-term memory—a process called “consolidation.”

Are you observing a  sleeping pattern? The best time to sleep is between 22 hours and 06 hrs . During this period the body goes through the process of regeneration of cells and growth.

Below are important actions that happen in our body during sleep.

1. Your brain sorts and processes the day’s information
Don’t be fooled into thinking that when you’re asleep your brain goes into shut down too. Your brain is actually quite busy while you sleep, sorting and storing information from the day. This process is particularly important for creating long term memories, as your brain consolidates   the information it picked up during the day and files it away for later use.

2. Hormones flood your body
There are a number of different hormones released during sleep, all with different purposes. Melatonin, released by the pineal gland controls your sleep patterns. The body release more melatonin  at night  making you feel sleepy. While you’re sleeping, the pituitary  gland releases growth hormones  which helps the body to grow and repair itself.

3. Your sympathetic nervous system chills out
During sleep, your sympathetic nervous system – which controls your fight or flight response – gets a chance to relax. Studies have shown that when we’re deprived of sleep, sympathetic nervous system activity increases, which is also mirrored by an increase in blood pressure. Scientists studying coronary disease are investigating whether there’s a relationship between decreased sleep duration and increased risk of heart disease.

4. Cortisol levels lower
Levels of cortisol, often called the stress hormone, decreases during the first few hours of sleep before rising to peak soon after you wake up. This helps makes you feel perky when you wake up and switches on your appetite.

5. Your muscles paralyses
While asleep, you cycle through periods of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). It’s during REM sleep that we have the most vivid dreams.
During this stage, your muscles are temporarily paralyzed, meaning you can’t move. This make us not physically act our dreams

6.Ever wondered why you have to go to the toilet to pee every couple of hours during the day but can sleep a whole eight without heading to the loo? Thank ADH, an anti-diuretic hormone released by the brain. The circadian rhythms  switches off the need to urinate so often overnight.

7. Your immune system releases inflammation fighting cytokines
While you’re sleeping, your immune system releases a type of small proteins called cytokines. If you’re sick or injured, these cytokines help your body fight inflammation, infection and trauma. Without enough sleep, your immune system might not be able to function at its best. This is why during healing; we need to sleep more hours

To be continued tomorrow.

Your Total Wellness is our concern.

With profound regards,
Maina Azimio.
Conference Speaker and Corporate Trainer in Wellness.
Tell: 0704 561 095 or 0722 516 896

Cc: kevin Ochieng


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