HOME   >   Useful Info   >   Medical Magazine

Useful Info

Print this page

Medical Magazine

[July 2019] Why Sleep Is So Important: Your Body Is Still at Work While You’re Asleep
Date 07-09-2019 14:31 Hit733
Why Sleep Is So Important: Your Body Is Still at Work While You’re Asleep

According to a World Sleep Society’s study, over 100 million people worldwide are struggling with sleep problems, and that number is on a steady rise. As we are compelled to spend more time and energy studying, working, and even playing games on smartphones, we cut back on our sleep to do these other activities. Now is the time for us to realize why we should not sacrifice our sleep for anything else.

Sleep Eliminates Fatigue-Causing Substances

Our waking hours are when the body and brain are most active, and the sleep state is when the energy-spent body and brain get a chance to get needed rest to recover the ability to function properly.
Repeated use of the body and the brain leads to the accumulation of various fatigue-causing wastes and substances. Inability to fall asleep or to sleep soundly throughout the night interferes with the elimination of these unwanted toxins. Only when we are sound asleep does our body begin to clean up these substances, as the spinal cord fluid flows through blood vessels in the brain to wash fatigue-causing wastes away from the spaces between brain cells.
If you continue to struggle with fatigue even after sleeping for several hours every night, you need to get your sleep quality checked.

The Brain Cleanses Itself during Sleep

Amyloid beta, or Abeta, is one of the unwanted wastes that the spinal cord fluid cleanses from the brain when we sleep. Recent research has shown close links between this substance and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Abeta interferes with the connections of neurons in the brain, leading to cognitive impairments, such as memory loss. The deposits of Abeta and other components making up the so-called amyloid plaques have been proposed as the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Abeta is eliminated from the brain only in sound sleep. We feel refreshed, not only in our bodies but also in our minds, when we wake up from a good night’s sleep because these deposits have been washed away during our sleeping period.
Poor quality of sleep leads to a decline in cognitive functions, first tiring out the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the brain that plays a key role in decision-making and problem-solving. No wonder lack of good sleep interrupts our ability to focus and be productive during the day.

Growth Hormones Secreted during Sleep is Key to Vitality

Sleep is also essential to the normal secretion of hormones. We now know that failing to sleep enough during infancy and childhood is one of the contributing factors to short height. That is because children, by remaining awake until late at night, are denied the chances for the secretion of the hormones they need for growth. That is why children must fall asleep before 10 p.m. when growth hormones begin to be released.
Growth hormones are important to adults as well as they delay aging. These hormones play a central role in the regeneration of cells and keep us vital and active.
Cell regeneration is crucial to maintenance of physical functions, renewal of brain functions against memory loss, and the restoration and rest of muscles and joints. It is also essential to the regeneration of skin cells, keeping the skin healthy and firm.
As we age, we secrete less and less growth hormones. Sound sleep is therefore all the more important.

Rules for Quality Sleep

1. Sleep for at least six hours every night.
2. Try to be asleep between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Try to get to bed by 11 p.m. at the latest.
3. Minimize the amount of time you spend on watching TV or smartphones before sleeping.
4. Do not compensate for the loss of your night sleep by napping long during the day.
5. Read a book before sleep as this is a good habit, but try to avoid content or plots that are too exciting.
6. Get rid of light-emitting electronics in your bedroom. Install screens over your windows if possible.
7. Drink things that can help you sleep better, such as warm milk, lavender tea, date tea, omija tea, and chamomile tea.