What Are The Effects Of Sleep On Brain Function And Hormones?
It is a universal fact that a sound sleep at night can leave you feeling restored and energized even when your days are hectic. Is there something magical about sleep?
Effects Of Sleep On Brain
Here are the effects of sleep on brain function, hormonal production of the body, and immune response right from the moment our head hits the pillow.
1) The body fights weight gain
Sleep is known to bring down stress. It lowers level of the stress hormone cortisol and regulates hormones to keep your weight in check.
When you are deprived of sleep, there are more food cravings and hunger. That is why people who sleep less than 6 hours a day have an increased risk of becoming obese (about 30%) when compared to those who sleep for 7 to 9 hours.
2) REM takes over
After one and a half hour after you fall asleep, you enter the dreamy world of REM. Your breathing turns shallow, the arm and leg muscles get relaxed and the brain gets the chance of dreaming, processing and storing memories. This deep sleep stage is so vital that your brain works hard to make sure that it doesn’t get disrupted by actively shaping your dreams. For instance, the sound of the alarm clock can play in your dream as the ringing of temple bells so that you can sleep in.
3) Inflammation is kept away
Studies reveal that even a single night of mild sleep deprivation can trigger inflammation in the body. With chronic inflammation there is everything right from weight gain, digestive problems, brain fog and pesky bags under your eyes.
4) Carb processing ability changes
With sleep the ability to process carbs changes. When you are sleep deprived, the ability of fat cells to respond to insulin gets impaired, making people less sugar tolerant.
5) Immune system recovers
While you sleep at night, the body’s immune system heals itself. There is a process called adaptive immune response that gets increased as you sleep and fights off anything that you would have come in contact with during the day. Great, right!
6) Drop in body temperature
As you drift into dreamland, your body temperature decreases by 1 to 2 degrees and reaches its lowest about 2 hours prior to wake up time. This way the body conserves energy while you are asleep. However, if your surroundings are rather too warm, you will struggle to touch the optimal temperature.
If you able to make your room even 0.4 degree Celsius cooler, you can make a difference.
7) The day is processed by the brain
Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep can result in structural changes in the brain. It can lead to memory impairment.
8) Hormones take over
During sleep, especially during the REM stage, the body produces testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. The hormone testosterone has a protective effective on the heart and reduces inflammatory proteins that cause damage to the heart.
9) Memories get sorted and are stored
Deep sleep helps the brain in filtering out unnecessary information and deciding what to keep for decision making later. During REM, the brain moves info from short-term memory to the long term memory. Information is stored for later use and trivial info does not take up space in your ‘hard drive’!
10) Glucose turns into fat
During sleep, a growth hormone is released that controls cellular repair and converts the leftover glucose into fat. It is this fat that keeps your body working when you are asleep and it is the energy that can be used for an early morning run on an empty stomach. If the body does not get the chance to process the glucose fully you will wake up all groggy, hungry and ready for a nap.
Isn’t it great to know the effects of sleep on brain function?
You may also like reading-
- 6 Ways To Nourish Your Skin While You Sleep
- How Lack Of Sleep Makes You Overeat?
- What Happens When You Sleep Drunk?
- Is It Good To Sleep In The Afternoon?