By now, I’m sure many of you ladies know that sleep is really important for your health. There’s a reason you feel much more refreshed after a good night’s sleep — it affects how you feel, how you look and your ability to perform. But have you ever wondered what actually happens to your body while you are asleep? Get ready to find out!
Your body temperature drops
Your body temperature contributes to the regulation of your circadian rhythm (your body clock), which helps determine when it’s time to sleep and time to be awake. Just before you fall asleep, your core body temperature starts to decrease, making it easier to drift off. A higher core body temperature can make it difficult to fall asleep, which is why many sleep experts recommend you don’t keep your bedroom temperature too high.
Your brain tidies up
During REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, the stage when you have dreams, your brain continues to be highly active. Part of the brain, known as the cerebral cortex, starts to filter through the information you have taken in during the day, organising thoughts and storing important information and memories. Think of sleeping as your brain’s ‘reset’ time. It tidies up all of the information you’ve been exposed to during the day and makes room for what you’ll learn tomorrow!
Your body releases growth hormones
When you’re sleeping, your body gets to work repairing itself. As you move into the deepest stage of sleep, your body releases hormones, including growth hormones. These hormones help to repair your muscles and tissue. The blood supply to your muscles increases at this time too, giving them the nourishment they need to grow. Your muscles also naturally relax, which may help to relieve general tension that builds up during the day.
Your heart rate slows
When you go to bed, your heart doesn’t need to work as hard, so your heart rate is generally a bit slower. As you drift off to sleep, your heart rate continues to get progressively slower and your blood pressure also decreases.
Your heart and vascular system both enjoy a bit of a rest period during sleep, the result of your body entering a state of relaxation. It has been suggested this is why a lack of sleep can lead to blood pressure and heart concerns.
Your skin repairs itself
It’s not just your muscles that repair themselves during sleep. While you are catching some ZZZZs, the growth hormone your body releases gets to work regenerating skin cells and repairing the skin from daily exposure to the sun and general pollution. During sleep, water accumulates under the skin, making it look plump and smooth.
Your body also works to balance your hydration level as you sleep. That’s just another reason why you should carry your water bottle everywhere and rehydrate during the day!
While you are sleeping, your body is pretty hard at work, making sure you are ready to greet tomorrow feeling refreshed! Hopefully this blog has helped you to understand why building good habits around sleep is so important.