5 Things You Never Knew Your Body Does While You Sleep
Ah, sleep. The Holy Grail for most of us, and something we never really get enough of, whether we are busy living the carefree party-the-night-away life or simply pacing the floor with a baby that just won't go to bed.
But while the majority of us can function (if not optimally) on less than eight hours a night, skimping on your Z's can actually mess with more than just your mood the next day. Sleep is important for your overall health in many ways, because while you snooze away, your body is actually performing a lot lot of important functions.
Here are, in fact, five interesting things your clever body gets up to while you are asleep:
1. It performs a full toxin cleans
And here's you thinking detox has to involve kale juice! When you sleep, your body rids itself of toxins you have consumed or been exposed to throughout the day. This allows your body and brain to rejuvenate. In people who don't sleep well, the filtration isn't as effective, so experts say that may help explain why sleep-deprivation can make you feel unwell.
2. It empties your brain of useless information
When you sleep, your brain lets go of all useless information you have accumulated. "We take in all this information all day long, and most of it is luckily forgotten,' sleep specialist Christopher Colwell at UCLA School of Medicine explains to Good Housekeeping. "If you remembered everything, it would fill up your brain, so a sorting process takes place during sleep."
3. It goes into hibernation mode
When you sleep, your body temperature drops. When we're active during the day, we burn more calories, so lowering temperature is a way to reduce the burn rate and save calories. "It's like how bears hibernate," says Dr. Avi Ishaaya, a sleep specialist and and assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCLA. "Sleep is a survival mechanism."
4. It helps all the cells in your body renew themselves
All your individual cells are being completely repaired when you sleep. These restorative processes take care of all the damage that's occurred during the day, including helping your skin (the body's largest organ) stay young and gorgeous for longer. When you don't get enough sleep it impacts your whole body – hence you feel like you have been run over after an all-nighter.
5. It revs up your immune system
When you sleep, your immune system is at an all-time high. One study showed that people who received flu jabs and were sleep-deprived the next night did not create the antibodies required to protect against the flu. And according to Dr. Jordan Stern, founder and director of the BlueSleep Centre in New York, it has been proven that people who are chronically sleep deprived are far more likely to develop recurring infections.
Yikes. Are YOU getting as many hours as you need, guys? Join in the sleep conversation with us on Twitter at @Herfamilydotie