Humans LOVE Sleep -> What happens to your brain and body when you sleep?
Sleep has a pretty important role to play in our well-being, mental and physical health. On average we spend about a third of our lives sleeping. There are five stages in a sleep cycle. Each stage is important. If you experience quality sleep each person typically experiences 4 to 5sleep cycles a night with each cycle lasting 90-110 minutes. The average amount of sleep one should aim for changes depending on numerous things such as your age, if you’re pregnant, or if you’re healing, etc.
There are multiple functions of sleep but here are 3 significant ones!
1. Sleep provides an opportunity for cells in the body and brain to repair and rejuvenate itself. Major functions include hormone release, muscle growth, and tissue repair from both exercise and normal daily wear and tear.
2. Humans have a glymphatic system which was discovered in 2012. It functions during sleep and is mainly disengaged during wakefulness. It acts as a waste management system clearing the brain of neuronal waste products that can contribute to unhealthy ageing or neurocognitive disorders.
3. Sleep plays a key role in memory formation and improves cognitive function. Sleeping allows you to consolidate information so you are better able to recall it through the strengthening of neural connections that form our memories. It is important in goal-directed behaviour and ability to pay attention (vital for learning).
Ofcourse we can't all prioritise our sleep for various reasons. If you find yourself in this situation and there's not much you can change about it, I hope you have some self-compassion. I see you and support you!