A good night’s sleep is extremely important for your health. In fact, it’s just as important as eating healthy and exercising.
Unfortunately, the Western environment is interfering with natural sleep patterns, with people sleeping less than they did in the past.
Getting enough good quality sleep has many benefits, including protecting your physical and mental health, quality of life and personal safety.
What happens when we sleep?
When we sleep, our bodies rest – conserving energy and reducing blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and body temperature. In addition, our brains remain active – laying down memory, restoring daytime mental functioning and carrying out processes that lead to physical growth.
Sleep is thought to play an important role in the following processes:
Controlling your body temperature and energy use (metabolism).
Keeping your immune system working.
Controlling your brain functioning and restoring your memory.
Keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy.
Repairing tissues and stimulating growth in children (growth hormone released during sleep is responsible for both).
Regulating your appetite and weight and controlling your blood glucose levels.