Sleeping With Science: Understand the Science of Sleep to Live a Better Life
All of us must have already known the importance of sleep, but there are still many people who think that sleep is just a waste of time. Even today most of us don’t value sleep as much as we should. We do understand it but we still don’t realize how important it is for our health. We need to read and understand how beneficial sleep is and why good sleep should be our top priority. Moreover, by understanding the science of sleep, we will be in a better position to improve the quality of our rest. So how is sleep important for survival? Researchers don’t fully understand the secret to sleep, according to Dr. Merril Mitler, A sleep expert and neurologist at the NIH (National Institutes of Health), “Sleep serves all aspects of our bodies in one way or another: molecular, energy balance, as well as intellectual function, alertness, and mood.” Below are some scientific findings that prove why sleep is important.
1. Helps Release Growth Hormone
Scientists have found a link between the release of growth hormones and deep sleep. This explains why children need longer sleep to grow properly. Although its production decreases with age, lack of sleep affects the normal release of GH at any age. So sleep well to age well.
2. Promotes Body Repair
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin noted that our bodies repair themselves while we sleep. In deep sleep, our regenerative brain cells order protein production to repair tissue and grow muscle so we can heal and recover.
3. Important for Energy Recovery
When we are awake, our bodies use energy to produce the chemical, adenosine. It builds up in our bodies and makes us tired and sleepy. When we sleep, our brain cleansing system removes all the unnecessary chemicals including adenosine, thereby restoring our energy levels.
4. Improve Learning and Memory Consolidation
In one study, mice were taught new skills, and their brain activity was recorded. When they sleep, their brains exhibit the same activity as a way to make learning last. Another study in students showed improvement in learning ability in the sleep group between skill acquisition and testing.
If we sleep well, it will improve our health, energy levels, and productivity. But, if we don’t sleep well, it will gives negative effects for our physical, mental, and emotional health. But how can we sleep well? Here are tips so we can sleep well
Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. Our brains expect order and work best under conditions of regularity, including control of our sleep-wake schedule. Many of us use alarms to wake up but very few of us use alarms to sleep.
It turns out that our brains and bodies need to lower our core temperature by about one degree Celsius or about two to three degrees Fahrenheit to initiate sleep. And this is the reason why we will always find it easier to fall asleep in a room that is too cold than one that is too hot.
We need darkness especially at night to trigger the release of a hormone called melatonin which helps to regulate healthy sleep time. In the last hour before bed, try to get away from all those computer screens, tablets, and phones. Dim half the lights in our homes or we can wear eye protection and it will help regulate that important sleep hormone melatonin.
So there you have it!
Now we know how we can use this knowledge to improve the quality of our sleep. A good night’s sleep is the best for increasing our productivity and performance. So, if we want to stay physically and mentally fit, remember to always pay attention to our sleep, every day!