All of us sleep, and most of us like it. Once a day we get to lie down and go away to another land, and when we return we feel much better than when we first went to bed. Since the dawn of time man has wondered why we sleep. While we have always been aware that we wake feeling refreshed and invigorated, the further purposes of sleep evaded our knowledge, keeping us wondering what really goes on in our bodies when we are dreaming away.
The bottom line is that getting a proper nights rest is necessary to every aspect of our health. Lack of sleep will have a negative impact on our ability to think properly, function physically, and will send our emotional state into a skew. We have learned that getting regular, sufficient rest is vital to our well-being. Below, we will cover five individual tasks which are being done while you are sleeping, providing you with a much clearer understanding of our need for sleep.
1. The body “refreshes” its knowledge of proper functioning and self-maintenance.
REM, or “Rapid Eye Movement”, sleep is a stage of sleep we enter which allows our brains to enter a state which permits it to file away our “long-term” memories at a very efficient pace. Our short-term memory bank is also transferred into the long-term file at this time, assisting you in keeping up with things properly. This can only occur during the REM stage of the sleep process. This process has a direct affect on our motor skills and the things we do which require hand/eye co-ordination, proper visual perception, and responding the way we do when we react to stimuli. Without sleep for regular or extended periods of time, the human mind is unable to adequately retain the knowledge it has gained.
2. Your decision making skills are fine-tuned.
Studies conducted by those researching the need for sleep and its benefits have been able to show that our ability to react properly by making effective decisions is sharpened while we rest. Even though the body has “shut down”, for all intents and purposes, the mind is still quite active, and continues to make choices while we snooze. The process takes place by the brain processing the things which have triggered the need to make decisions, thereby providing us with the ability to make choices more easily when awake and alert.
3. Your body is cleansed of impurities during sleep.
The physical “shut down” which takes place enables the brain to begin cleaning out the toxins which have built up during the day. Your immune system is boosted, enabling it to fight off sickness and disease faster and more efficiently. The brain also cleanses itself and rebuilds, getting rid of dead or damaged cells and replacing the vital necessities which have lessened with a new stock. Parkinson’s disease, as well as Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological abnormalities can be slowed or stopped altogether with sufficient rest.
4. Sleep assists our brain in building, organizing, filing, and storing our memories.
As we touched on earlier, all long and short-term memories are processed and filed during the sleep process. When we do not get adequate rest, our brains do not get this job done well, resulting in memory lapses, slower response time, and a hindered ability to recall as needed. It is essential to the memory base in our bodies that we get the rest required, and that it be of quality, if we desire a healthy, quick mind and memory.
5. Sleep promotes creativity.
Studies have shown that some of our best and brightest ideas come while sleeping. Because we are in a state of rest and we are free of distractions, the ever-awake brain is able to do its thing freely and without hindrance, allowing for a free flow of thoughts and ideas. If you have found you get some of your finest revelations while sleeping, this is the reason for it.
It takes a balance to maintain a healthy mind and body, and sufficient, quality sleep in an integral part of that balance. Eating right and hydrating properly is also essential to proper brain function during sleep, as is exercise and mental study. When practicing a routine which combines all aspect of proper self care, your sleep will be deeper, sweeter, and much more beneficial to your waking life. Begin to get the rest you need today, and pave the road for a life of great memories, good health, and clear thinking.