What Happens In Your Body When You Sleep?
This generation is believed by most health experts to be the most sleep-deprived. And this is showing off in the high rate of diseases and death despite our advancement in technology.
We can boost of being the most advanced generation technology wise and even in science. But can we boast of being the healthiest? I don’t think so.
There are many reasons for the deteriorating health of this generation:
- GMO food and animals consumed
- More sedentary and inactive lifestyles
- Vaccines. Yes, you read that right
- Unnatural foods and unnatural additives added to foods
- Electromagnetic radiations from cell phones, laptops, telephone masts, nuclear sites, etc.
- Chemicals added to food, e.g. preservatives, artificial sweeteners, thickeners, etc.
- Stress and polluted air
- Not obeying God and natural laws
- And lack of sleep which this post focuses on
The Effects of Sleep Deficiency
Sleep deficiency has many dangerous impacts on your body. Some of them are:
- A weak immune system
- Low energy
- Poor memory functions
- A poor quality of life
- Impaired growth and development
- Sleep converts short-term memory into long-term memory, this is why students need sleep. Reading till day break is not healthy.
- A wrecked body
- Inability to make good decision or think fast, etc.
The Importance of Sleep
There is a field of medicine that study sleep, sleep disorders and benefits, it is called polysomnography.
Scientists in this field treat people by keeping them in a sleep facility for days and measuring their brain activities while they sleep with the aid of machines.
This helps in diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases. Even psychiatrists agree that sleep deprivation is responsible for a lot of mental problems.
This generation sees sleep as a waste of time, some call sleep time unproductive and so on. This is wrong and untrue.
People of the past valued sleep, they knew its importance. They knew it extends lifespan, help one make wise decisions, (that’s why you hear the phrase “go and sleep over it”, it aids memory and so on.
It is now this generation is realizing it. The people of the past knew sleep served as a medium through which the gods spoke to them. That’s why great kings of the past took dreamers and interpreters to battles,
People made money by dreaming lol.
But these days, almost everyone is chasing after money and some other things that make them sacrifice their sleep. The norm now is that to make it, either financially or academically, (especially in my country Nigeria), no sleep for you.
You work or study round the clock and this is not supposed to be so. Sleep is not a waste of time but a powerful healing time and health-conscious people shouldn’t miss this.
God/nature designed it in such a way that we are to spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping.
If you spend this 1/3 of your time sleeping well, the remaining 2/3 will be smooth, healthy and extended.
But if you think you are smart and try to take out of nature’s time and do other works, she will take out of your own time and you know the implications -short lifespan and full of health problems.
Sleep is just like your tax or tithe you pay to nature, pay it well and don’t cheat her and it shall be well with thee.
How To Benefit From Sleep
For proper healing to take place when you sleep, your sleep must meet three criteria.
1. You must sleep at the right time
There is something called circadian rhythm. This is the night and day cycle of the earth and man is not nocturnal, man was designed to work in the day and rest at night.
When you turn your day into night and your night into day, you are going against this rhythm and it will tell on you. This simply means you must sleep in the night.
Afternoon naps are different from deep night sleep and so are their benefits.
2. The amount of hours you rest is important
An adult needs about 8 to 10 hours of uninterrupted night sleep. This is a luxury many can’t afford but it is not supposed to be so. The longer your sleep, the more benefits you enjoy.
3. Your sleep must be deep
Deep healing, repairs, and restoration during sleep do not take place when you are half-awake or aware of your surroundings. These take place when you in a state of deep sleep, as though dead.
And you must be in a state of deep sleep midnight. This is why it is advised people go to bed early. Hence, the saying that one hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 after midnight.
I am not insinuating that you go to bed with the chickens lol, but you should be in bed before 10 Pm if you really want to benefit from sleep.
For your sleep to be worth it, you must meet these criteria
2 Important Stages of Sleep
Due to the recent massive studies on sleep, scientists have seen the stages of sleep and what happens at each stage.
There are two stages of sleep that repeat themselves every 90 minutes and as you continue sleeping, the time extends. This is why you need long hours of uninterrupted night sleep or these processes would be incomplete
1. Non rapid eye movement (NREM)
2. Rapid eye movement (REM)
Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM)
Now, when you go to bed, the first process that happens is NREM and it has 4 stages
1. N1 also known as stage 1
At this stage nothing happens because you just started sleeping.
2. N2 or stage 2 (Pre-sleep phase)
At this stage, you have started sleeping, you become unaware of your surroundings and this is when the healing starts. Your body will work on your heart in this stage and make it normal. Your respiratory system and breathing will also be normal. Your body temperature will also normalize.
This is why those who work at night will feel cold even when the weather is not cold because the brain is trying to heal the body but you are not sleeping
N3 or stage 3
This is the stage where the deepest and most restorative sleep happens. It is called the Delta stage.
The brain adjusts your blood pressure and it drops to normal, your breathing will become slower and your muscles will be relaxed and worked on by the healing hormones the brain releases.
All the tissues in your body will grow and the damaged ones will be repaired. The body will produce sufficient energy to last you for the new day.
That’s why you behave weak and drunk when you don’t sleep well at night.
Many hormones and healing chemicals will be released and one of them is the growth hormone. Some of these are Interferon 1 and 2. Interferon 1 handles infections while interferon 2 hunts for cancer cells and kills them.
All these happen while you are sleeping deeply. The human body generates millions of cancer cells daily as cells are turned over. We need sleep to help the body handle these cancerous cells so they don’t grow and spread.
In fact, many amazing things happen in this stage but for the sake of time and space, i can’t say them all.
N4 or stage 4 also has the same activities as N3
Then the second process occurs after all the stages of NREM
Rapid Eye Movement (REM)
In REM, the eyes move back and forth, that is why it is called rapid eye movement. This is the stage where the brain works on itself
Yeah the brain can repair itself, even in stroke; the brain tries to repair the damages.
In this stage, the brain produces energy for itself and the body. The brain turns off your muscles and makes the body immobile
It does this for deep healing and restoration to take place and this also supports optimum daytime performance. Now this is where it gets interesting
This is the stage where dreams occur and the brain is very active at this time. This is when the gods or guardian spirits as some people believe come to visit man and communicate.
People who don’t get their REM sleep, (either waking up earlier or not sleeping at all) wake up irritable and very tired. They can even become aggressive, angry, depressed, restless, and apathetic.
So these two stages continue repeating themselves every 90 minutes until you wake up. After the REM stage, stage 2, 3, and 4 of NREM takes place again and lasts about 90 minutes. Then REM starts again.
More delta sleep takes place earlier in the night while more REM sleep occurs towards morning.
Now you see why sleep is important and you shouldn’t joke with it or sacrifice it for anything right?
Natural Sleep Aids
Millions of people worldwide are battling insomnia and a lot of this population depends on medications to help them sleep. Studies have shown that these drugs alter sleep cycles and suppress the REM stage of sleep.
Sleeping pills are not the best ways to handle insomnia. They cause a condition known as “REM withdrawal Sleep”. This makes insomniacs feel worse and they think they will be better by taking more of these pills to survive.
They keep taking more and the problem keeps getting worse. There are highly effective ways to combat insomnia naturally. Many people are affected by phone-induced insomnia, and there are also effective ways to handle that.
I hope you learn from this post the importance of sleep and make it your priority to get a good night’s sleep every day.