Posted on 03/27/2018 at 10:05 AM by Troy Cummings
National Sleep Awareness Week occurs in March of each year and is hosted by the National Sleep Foundation. If we are getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night we can expect to spend 1/3 of our entire lives asleep. Clearly, something our bodies spend so much time doing must be important for our health. Sleep has an effect on so much more than just waking up cranky or refreshed. Here are some effects that sleep has throughout the body from Sleep.org :
Brain: Cerebral spinal fluid is pumped more quickly throughout the brain while you sleep. It acts like a dishwasher, whisking away waste products that brain cells make. So you wake up with, quite literally, a clean slate.
Heart: One body part that gets a break during sleep is your heart. Your ticker works hard during the day, so at night during non-REM sleep it takes some pressure off itself by reducing heart rate, as well as blood pressure.
Lungs: When you’re awake, your breathing patterns vary greatly. You’ll breathe faster when excited and harder while exercising, for example. But during sleep, your breathing slows down and becomes very regular.
Stomach: Certain foods contain an amino acid called tryptophan that causes sleepiness. Carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain, which is why carbohydrate-heavy meals can make you drowsy.
Muscles: While you sleep, your body releases growth hormones that work to rebuild muscles and joints. The more sleep you get, the better equipped your body will be to repair itself.
I encourage you to explore the Sleep.org website and take the quiz to learn what kind of sleeper you are and what steps you can take to improve your sleep hygiene.
"A well-spent day brings happy sleep." -Leonardo da Vinci
Written by Kasey Lockett Image by Sleep.org