Many people discount the importance of sleep, but proper rest is essential for maintaining physical and mental health. Learn more about three things that happen to your body when you sleep to understand how sleep restores your body daily.
While you sleep, your body enters a state of repair. Your cells work diligently to repair damage incurred during the day. For example, enzymes repair brain cell damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals.
Another restorative process your body undergoes during sleep is protein synthesis. The body uses protein to build muscle and tissue and to support the body’s structure. Protein synthesis is essential for overall body maintenance, contributing to your resilience.
Releasing hormones is another thing your body does when you sleep. Growth hormones are released in higher amounts, particularly during deep sleep. Growth hormones help children and teens grow, but adults also need them for various processes, including normal brain function.
Sleep also balances hormones like cortisol, which helps regulate your stress response and metabolism. Disrupted sleep patterns can lead to hormonal imbalances that affect mood and overall well-being.
Sleep is essential for cardiovascular health. Different times of day affect blood pressure, and in healthy individuals, blood pressure is lowest at night during rest. The nighttime drop in blood pressure is called nocturnal dipping.
Nocturnal dipping helps lower the risk of cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks and stroke. Consistently poor sleep can disrupt the natural daily drop in blood pressure, leading to persistent high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease.
While you sleep, your body is busy repairing itself, balancing hormones, and protecting your cardiovascular health. By understanding the different functions that happen during sleep, you can better appreciate the importance of healthy sleep patterns. Get a good night’s rest as regularly as possible for optimal health.