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What Exactly Happens While You Sleep?

Sleep. Huh. What is it good for? Well, it turns out that the answer is far from "absolutely nothing". There are a lot of very important things that happen while you sleep, and the complex process of getting good rest is essential for your survival. Below, we'll go into much greater detail about what sleep is, what happens during sleep, and why exactly it's so important for your health and wellness. We also have some excellent tips on how to improve your sleep quality with good sleep hygiene habits.

Sleep Cycles

The first thing that may surprise you about your sleep cycle is that it's not an on/off situation. There are many different levels of consciousness and unconsciousness well beyond "sleep" and "awake", and those stages are:

  • Stage 1 - A stage of light, shallow sleep in which you may still be partially awake.
  • Stage 2 - You become completely unconscious and your brain waves start to slow down.
  • Stage 3 - Also known as "slow wave" sleep; your brain produces slow delta waves as the body restores and repairs itself.
  • Stage 4 - Another deep sleep stage that helps your body transition from slow wave sleep into REM sleep.
  • Stage 5 - Also known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Most of your skeletal muscles are paralyzed during REM sleep. This is also the sleep stage where you experience dreams.

As you slip in and out of these stages during the night, different physiological processes happen in your body. You may be still and unconscious, but that doesn't mean big things aren't happening. As a matter of fact, there's a lot going on while you rest.

Your Body Stays Busy During the Night!

Sure, it seems like your body isn't doing much while you slumber - after all, your temperature drops, your blood pressure dips, your muscles are paralyzed, and you're taking slow, deep breaths. But that energy ends up getting redirected into different, important areas. For example:

Hormone Regulation

During the delta wave sleep cycle mentioned above, dozens of different hormones go to work. The main hormone released is Human Growth Hormone, or HGH. Nearly every restorative process in the human body starts with the release of HGH. In children, it helps them grow while they sleep; conversely, children with chronic sleep problems experience stunted growth. In adults, it helps repair soft tissue damage, like sore muscles and sagging skin.

Your body also resets its leptin and ghrelin levels during deep sleep. When these levels reach a healthy homeostasis, you'll feel less hungry and consume fewer calories during the day. But when they're out of balance, you're more likely to binge on unhealthy, high-calorie foods. And speaking of counting calories, good sleep also stimulates...

Weight Loss

There are two more ways that good sleep helps you lose weight, in addition to controlling your appetite. For starters, you lose a few pounds of water weight overnight, every night, due to respiration. But more importantly, spending 8-10 hours in bed each night puts your body into a fasted state. Despite "starvation mode" being unfairly maligned by "fitness experts" who haven't read a peer-reviewed medical journal since 1985, entering a fasted state while you sleep is necessary for optimal health and wellness. Fasting stimulates autophagy; and during autophagy, damaged and superfluous cells (in this case, fat cells) are broken down, burned for energy, or recycled in order to repair fresher, healthier cells. Conversely, poor sleep is linked to weight gain.

The Brain Cleans House and Takes Names

Recent studies in mice show that during deep sleep, brain cells shrink by approximately 60%, allowing more cerebral spinal fluid to flow between them. This fluid, in turn, picks up and flushes away toxic substances, such as the amyloid beta plaques which contribute to Alzheimer's and dementia. The brain also prunes away unused neural connections while reinforcing the ones you use more often, improving overall cognitive function and memory.

But None of This Can Happen If You Don't Get Quality Sleep

The keyword, as always, is quality sleep. Hitting an arbitrary number of hours each night won't help if you aren't moving through your sleep cycle the way you should be. What's worse is that traditional sleeping pills won't help, either; if anything, they'll destroy the quality of your sleep. That's why you should stick to natural sleep aids like Avinol PM. They contain safe ingredients that will lull your body into the right sleep state, helping you move through a healthy sleep cycle throughout the night. And you need that quality rest for maximum health and wellness.

Get to sleep fast and stay asleep all night long. Wake up refreshed with Avinol PM!

Try Avinol PM today!