Sleep, sleep, sleep!

by maria

Every single one of us eenjoys on a daily basis a few hours of sleep. no matter how different our lives are, no matter how different things we do everyday, we all stop at some point to do one common thing: to sleep. However, do we know enough about this proccess and its importance?

We humans sleep for aproximately 1/3 of our lives! That means that if you are now 18 years old you have slept for around 6 years. Most of us would now ask: ” What could be happening while I am sleeping that I have to dedicate so much time in this?” While you are sleeping, your consciousness dicreases, your senses are almost completely inactivated and all your voluntary muscles stop moving. The only muscles that keep operating are the involuntary ones, such as the heart. This anabolic situation, that you found yourself into when you are sleeping helps all the systems in your body, from the skeletal and the musculatore to the immune and the nervous system and it also aids the stage of growth considering your metabolism. In addition, it gives to your organism time to form new tissues and the necessary proteins as well as to realease certain hormones. Sleeping, also helps you understand in depth all the new information that you might have learned during the day and to cope with your anxities while dreaming.

There are 2 main hormones that are related to the sleeping process: melatonin and cortisol. Melatonin causes the sense of sleepiness and the level of melatonin are increased at 2 a.m. and start lowering after 4 a.m. so as to prepare you to wake up. However, all electronic devises emit a blue light, that dicreases the production of melatonin. In this way, if before going to sleep you keep using you phone for example, you won’t benefit the same. You can try swithcing off all your electronical devices 1 hour before going to sleep for a whole week. Thus, you will understand the difference between the two types of sleeping. Cortisol can be found in lower levels during the night and starts increasing as the sun rises so that you can wake up. If for several nights you don’t manage to sleep sufficiently, the cortisol levels start rising. However, higher levels of cortisol can cause you to gain fat around your belly area.

It has been prooven that sleep loss can be connected to several conditions such as diabetes, obesity as well as some cardiac diseases. When you are not sleeping enough, yor imune system becomes weaker, the possibilities of you making a mistake increase and you cann get yourself easier into an argument. Therefore, sleeping is not just something that you should every night just because everybody does it, but because it is crucial for your body to function properly. Sleeping late or sleeping less is not cool, sleeping well is.

This article is based on: “The Body Book”, Cameron Diaz, Sandra Bark.

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