Sleep plays a critical role in our health and well-being.
Sleep helps us feel better. When we get a good night’s sleep, we feel refreshed and more able to complete tasks.
One of the primary functions of sleep is to help conserve energy resources.
The body during sleep moves less, the body temperature goes down and the need for calories go down.
Sleep provides the opportunity for the body to restore, repair and rejuvenate itself.
The immune system is replenished with sleep.
Certain growth hormones are released during sleep which allow protein synthesis, muscle and bone growth.
Rejuvenation of the cognitive brain (the learning part of the brain)
During the day, the nerve synapses use chemicals to allow the brain to think. The “waste” product that builds up from the chemical reaction of the nerves is adenosine. It is thought that the increasing amount of adenosine in the brain during waking hours is what makes us sleepy at night. An interesting fact is that caffeine counteracts the actions of the adenosine. However, too much caffeine interrupts our sleep.
Neuropeptides, the byproducts of pain, are flushed from the nervous system.
When you are able to enter into a deep, refreshing sleep, the central nervous system is able to “Reset” and clear the neuropeptides. The person wakes up with less or no pain. If a person is unable to get into a deep sleep, the “Reset” does not occur, the neuropeptides remain in the central nervous system and the person wakes up with pain. Another day in pain means more neuropeptides collect in the central nervous system and the pain continues and at times worsens= chronic pain.