Do you ever go to bed feeling a little under the weather, and then magically when you wake up you feel so much better and ready to tackle the day. Me too. In fact, in recent years I have started listening to my body a lot more and when I notice I am not feeling quiet right, I book in a good night of sleep and reap the benefits.
But have you ever wondered what is really happening to our bodies when we sleep and how this simple act can be so powerful in maintaining our body’s equilibrium. Well I recently dived a bit deeper to understand what all the fuss is about and all the ways sleep helps our bodies to heal.
If there are areas that need to heal, your brain will trigger the release of hormones that encourage healing. While your resting, your body will make more white blood cells to attack viruses and bacteria that may be present in your body.
If your muscles are in need of healing, the brain can again triggers a rush of hormones that promote tissue growth that repairs the blood vessels when you sleep. This process helps ease muscle soreness, rebuild damaged muscles, and encourage wounds to heal properly.
When you fall into restful sleep, your blood pressure drops, your breathing slows, and the muscles relax. With your body in this state, there are naturally fewer demands on your heart. Sleep-deprived individuals are at greater risk of developing high cholesterol, which in turn can trigger a heart attack or a stroke.
Our brain needs time during sleep to deploy its inbuilt cleaning system, the glymphatic system, which enables our brains to eliminate toxins and prepare for higher order task and challenges.
Research has shown that the liver adapts to phases of rest and activity. Sufficient sleep allows the liver to perform its job properly, eliminating toxins and maintaining blood sugar levels.
Sleep deprivation disrupts the balance between hormones responsible for suppressing and stimulating your appetite. So when we have a bad nights sleep we are more likely to make bad food choices during the day.
So tonight when you lay your head down to sleep, give yourself a little fist pump. Your body is going to do so many great things over the next 8-10 hours to make sure you feel replenished and ready to thrive.I
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