Sleep And It 's Effects On The Brain

1409 WordsMay 4, 20176 Pages
Sleep and It 's Effects on the Brain Sleep is an essential aspect of life, and though most people tend to enjoy it quite a bit, it is often pushed aside and replaced with wasteful activities. In the past, people used to believe that the soul left the body during sleep. However, today, scientists have discovered that sleep is, in fact, necessary to function normally. When the body 's natural circadian (sleep/wake) cycle is interrupted, one may feel drowsy, moody, unfocused, and distant. On average, most adults require around 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and any less than that will result in very serious consequences (Hirshkowitz, Max. “How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?”). A lack of sleep can cause irritability, increased stress,…show more content…
Hirshkowitz (“How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?”): Stage 1 Between being awake and falling asleep Light sleep Stage 2 Onset of sleep Becoming disengaged from surroundings Breathing and heart rate are regular Body temperature drops (so sleeping in a cool room is helpful) Stages 3 and 4 Deepest and most restorative sleep Blood pressure drops Breathing becomes slower Muscles are relaxed Blood supply to muscles increases Tissue growth and repair occurs Energy is restored Hormones are released, such as: Growth hormone, essential for growth and development, including muscle development These four stages are known as NREM, the deeper of the two main sleep stages, NREM and REM, which alternate through the night. During REM sleep, the brain is active, the eyes rapidly twitch under the eyelids, the muscles are inactive, and a person may have dreams. The alternation of NREM and REM sleep gives the mind time to store memories, prepare for the day ahead, release hormones, wash away toxins, and rejuvenate itself. Without proper NREM and REM sleep, some very harmful things can occur to both the body and mind. First, when the body is sleep deprived, many important functions are slowed or impeded. The metabolism slows down, and in some cases a lack of sleep can trigger overeating and even Type 2 Diabetes (Hirshkowitz, Max. “The Link Between a Lack of Sleep and Type 2 Diabetes.”). According to Lyuster, “Melatonin suppression due to
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