People spend much of their lives asleep. Each of us spends about one-third of our life asleep. By the time you’re 75, you will have spent 25 years sleeping! Suppressing sleep for an extended period has dramatic effects on an organism’s physiological equilibrium. Sleep is vital to survival, and it helps the nervous system function properly. Studies reveal that when animals and people fail to get enough sleep, concentration, coordination, memory, and mood suffer. Additionally, sleep issues often affect people with psychiatric and neurological disorders. Recent studies are revealing how brain cells and chemicals work together to regulate sleep and the changes that take place in the brain when a person is sleep-deprived.
Using advanced molecular, cellular, and brain imaging technologies, researchers are exploring the activity of different brain regions during sleep, and how certain events and disorders alter sleep states. This information could lead to new treatments for sleep disorders — which affect millions worldwide — and deeper understanding of the relationship between sleep and various diseases.
Sleep aids in: healing our bodies, helps our immune system, aids in balancing hormones, the sleeping brain has been shown to remove metabolic waste products at a faster rate than during an awake state, and it is theorized that sleep helps facilitate the synthesis of molecules that help repair and protect the brain from these harmful elements generated during waking.
Two tips for a better nights sleep:
• Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates sleepiness. It is made in the brain, where tryptophan is converted into serotonin and then into melatonin, which is released at night by the pineal gland to induce and maintain sleep.
• Results indicated that the diets high in protein resulted in fewer wakeful episodes during night-time sleep. The high carbohydrate diet was linked to much shorter periods of restful sleep.