What actually happens when you sleep?

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You want it, you need it, you crave it. If you guessed that I was talking about sleep, you are right!! For many people, especially teenagers, the best part of the day is that time when you can go to sleep. We have all heard that sleep is necessary and good for you but why is it so good? What actually happens to your body when you are asleep?
     Although we all know what sleep is,according to webster dictionary, the definition of sleep is the natural periodic suspension of consciousness, during which the powers of the body are restored. Sleep allows us to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and energized. But why does that happen? According to the Natural Sleep Foundation, sleep can affect our every day life. It can affect our looks, our performance, and our overall quality of life over time. According to them, 75% of our sleep is part of Non rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) This type of sleep contains 4 stages. 
Stage 1: light sleep
Stage 2: becoming disengaged from the world, heart rate is normal, body temperature drops
Stage 3 and 4: deepest sleeps, slowed breathing, relaxed muscles

The other 25% of your night sleep is REM or Rapid Eye Movement Sleep. This type of sleep occurs after you have been asleep for about 90 minutes and cycles about every 90 minutes as you are sleeping. This is the time where your body gets energy for the day, your brain is active, dreams occur, day time performance is supported.
     Sleep is extremely important in order to keep our immune systems healthy, balance our appetite, and help our body to regulate hormones.We spend approximately 1/3 of our life sleeping. According to National Sleep Foundation's surveys, most people do not get enough sleep.And...at least 40 million people suffer from over 70 different kinds of sleep disorders. For most adults getting between 7-9 hours of sleep is considered healthy.
     Noone specifically knows why we sleep, but there are theories that state: 
1. sleep helps repair muscles
2.sleep gives the brain the chance to organize thoughts
3. That sleep was used when people were "bored" so they shut off their brains (in early times)

If you do not get enough sleep, eventually your body will break down. You need sleep to survive. Although we do not appreciate sleep when we are young, as we get older our body needs it more and more to survive and plus, sleeping is one of the best parts of the day.


1 Comment

Good topic. I agree that sleep is VERY important. Also after doing a little follow up to this topic i found that receiving too little sleep can lead to overweight and obesity. I found this interesting because I always thought getting less sleep just made us less energize. Who knew it can caused a person to become overweight.

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