There is plenty of scientific evidence which proves the health benefits of getting quality sleep. Sleeping for at least 8 hours( the more, the better) can improve your health considerably.
Alternatively, chronic sleep deprivation is problematic as it increases the risk of disease, obesity and many other serious illnesses, which is why it is crucial to get high–quality sleep every night.
Unfortunately, sleep remains under-appreciated by many people, as they continue to steal their sleep time for ‘catch-up’ work or playtime. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the increase of Alzheimer’s and other mental health issues are on the rise.
Sleeping Cleans Your Mind
A good nights sleep can greatly help our brain restore and consolidate memories. Think of your brain as a computer. A computer needs defragging when it gets clogged to help put all the files back into place. Your brain is similar! Scientists have discovered that it is only when a person sleeps that the brain activates its nocturnal cleaning services. Therefore, the brain undergoes its detoxification process during sleep.
The Brain’s Cleaning System
A group of researchers discovered that the brain’s glymphatic system is highly active during sleep. The glymphatic system basically cleans out the trash, toxins, and waste, which can be the primary culprit, not just for Alzheimer’s, but for many other neurological problems. Researchers have also revealed that during sleep the brain removes much of the beta-amyloid protein, that when left to accumulate can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
Brain Cells Shrink During Sleep
Another interesting fact is that brain cells shrink up to 60% during sleep. This shrinkage allows easier cleaning in and around the spaces of the brain’s cells. This means more cerebrospinal fluid can enter the brain, enabling faster and efficient toxin flushing. The cerebrospinal fluids pass through the gaps in between the neurons, then flow through the bloodstream and into the liver for detoxification. This process gets rid of the toxins and wastes for good.
During sleep, there are certain parts of the brain that are more active than any other periods within the 24-hour cycle. This is because there are other functions that need to be carried out during sleep besides cleaning, and some of these include the following:
Sleep for Brain Health
Sleeping greatly dictates what and how much information we either remember or forget. Through sleep, the brain will be able to enhance and/or preserve certain parts of our memory. Research reveals that the memories that have the greatest emotional value will be enhanced through sleep, while those memories with lesser value will be downgraded.
People also need to have at least 7-8 hours of sleep so their brains will be able to carry out automatic processes of the body, such as hormone manufacture and secretion, in an optimal manner.
Sleep for Bone Health
Better bone health requires quality sleep. Yes, diet and exercise play a part, but sleep is a necessary requirement. Sleep is necessary for the production of healthy bone marrow, which contains stem cells that form healthy blood cells. This complex process cannot be performed without sleep. So if you want to have healthy bone marrow, make sure you get plenty of shut-eye.
Sleep for Hormone Health
Our body is full of hormones, all of which do different, essential things. We have our stress hormones, such as cortisol, adrenaline hormones, our sexual hormones, thyroid hormones and more. All these essential hormones are affected by sleep or a lack thereof. If our hormones are out of balance, so too is our health, either mentally or physically. Therefore, getting the right amount of sleep will help rebalance your hormones and your health.
Sleep for Heart and Liver Health
Again, sleep is important for two more major parts of our body, the heart, and the liver. The health of these major organs is essential to our total well being, so it makes sense to start caring for them by getting quality sleep.
Although sleep appears to be an easy task for the body to perform, it is actually a complex process. It is definitely more than just a period of quiescence for the mind and body.
If you want a healthy mind and body, you need to care for it the best and easiest way possible, and that is to sleep! It doesn’t require you to measure food portions or count carbs or calories, or whatever your preference for maintaining a healthy weight may be, or running around the park, or pushing weights at the gym. It simply means making the time to sleep, and sleeping for an adequate period of time.