Sleep is a highly complex, dynamic state that involves many processes in the brain. It is also a critical process for our overall health. The body undergoes critical repair and growth processes during sleep, which have been shown to help prevent illness and disease as well as promote mental, emotional and physical health.
It helps the body fight infection and inflammation
During sleep, your body produces certain proteins and immune cells that help prevent illness and inflammation. These molecules are called cytokines, which help fight germs and infections that can cause sickness.
They also produce antibodies and other immune cells that attack and kill harmful bacteria. The body can’t create these important substances during the day, which is why sleep is so important during periods of stress or illness.
It helps the body repair and grow
When you sleep, your body goes through several cycles of non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Each cycle lasts about 90 minutes to two hours.
It helps the body fight infection
Inflammation is a common problem in the body that can lead to chronic illness. Getting enough sleep can decrease the amount of inflammation in your body, which can protect you from diseases like cancer and heart disease.
It helps the body build muscle
While you sleep, your muscles go through a phase of non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep that is similar to the way they’re used during a workout. During this time, blood flow to your muscles increases and allows them to grow and repair.
It can help ease chronic pain
During the non-rapid eye movement phase of sleep, your body is able to reduce inflammation in certain areas of the body. This can also help ease some types of chronic pain, which is why getting adequate amounts of sleep is so vital for your overall health.
It can help control your weight
Sleep is a key part of maintaining a healthy weight, which can lead to lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. It also helps to regulate the hormones that control your appetite and increase your energy.
It can help your memory
A recent study found that when you get enough sleep, you remember things better than when you don’t. This is because during sleep, your brain sort and organizes information it has picked up during the day.
It can improve your mood
Studies have linked low levels of sleep to a number of emotional problems, including depression and anxiety. When you sleep, your brain releases hormones called melatonin that help you feel relaxed and calm, so getting enough sleep can make you happier and less stressed.
It can help control your blood sugar
People who don’t get enough sleep often have higher blood sugar, which is a major factor in developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Getting a good night’s rest is one of the easiest ways to prevent these diseases.
The average adult needs seven hours of sleep per night to stay healthy. But getting less than this can lead to health problems, such as a shorter life span, high blood pressure and obesity.