9 Amazing Things That Happen To Us During Sleep
In the process of rest, we are practically cut off from the outside world, but our brain does not stop working.
1. We experience several sleep cycles
First, the body goes through the first stage of slow sleep. We begin to doze off, but we are still partially aware of the surrounding reality. After the second and third stages, the rem sleep phase begins. During it, we have dreams. The full cycle is 90–120 minutes and is repeated 4–5 times per night.
2. Waste is removed from the brain
According to research, the waste disposal system is activated during sleep. Cerebrospinal fluid is driven through the brain faster. This is how toxic substances are removed. For example, molecular debris that accumulates during the day and can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
3. New information is stored in memory
During sleep, the brain moves information from short-term memory to long-term memory. That’s why sleep is so important for learning. It literally helps to consolidate the information received for further use. So if you have to take an exam, it’s better to get enough sleep than to cram all night.
4. We temporarily lose the ability to move
In the rem sleep phase, the brain turns off the neurons responsible for movement. Such temporary paralysis is necessary for our own safety. Thanks to him, we do not kick, do not push, and generally do not reproduce our actions from dreams. This condition usually lasts about 20 minutes.
5. The brain replenishes energy reserves
The body in general and the brain in particular need enough sleep to function properly. This explains why we overeat when we don’t get enough sleep. With a lack of sleep, more of the hunger hormone ghrelin is produced. In this state, we are drawn to high-calorie foods and simple carbohydrates like donuts or bread.
6. We automate motor skills
In the rem sleep phase, the brain consolidates information about the acquired motor skills. As soon as the information about the action gets into the temporal lobe, there is no need to think about it anymore. You will execute it automatically. Therefore, if you want to drive better, dance or play tennis, sleep longer.
7. We make important decisions
If you are torn between two options — get some sleep. According to research, during sleep, our brain processes complex problems. When you wake up, it will be easier to make a decision.
8. We are moving away from reality
In the phases of deep sleep, the brain disconnects from the outside world. This explains phenomena such as talking and walking in a dream. According to the American National Sleep Foundation, the likelihood of abnormal behavior increases when we do not get enough sleep for a long time. So try to sleep the required 7–8 hours.
9. Our creative potential increases
Looking for inspiration? Scientists from the University of California at Berkeley have found that during sleep, the brain picks up distant associations between information. We just don’t notice them during the day. After sleep, the participants of the experiment were 33% more likely to find creative solutions.
Thanks to Artur Kh.