Though it may seem as if your entire body shuts down when you sleep, your brain is incredibly active during your slumbering hours. A great number of amazing things happen when you’re sleeping that help you function better each day, proving yet again how important it is to get a good night’s sleep each and every night.
Clearing of Toxins
During waking hours, your body builds up chemicals to help it function. But too much build up for too long will reduce your ability to perform well, leading to reduced nerve cell function and possible neurodegenerative diseases in the future. When you sleep, your brain clears out those toxins and converts chemicals back into forms that the brain can use more easily.
You brain strengthens your current memories and creates new ones while you sleep. It helps prepare your brain to receive new memories while reinforcing newer information. Your hippocampus helps to transition memories from the short-term into the long-term, and this sleep-induced activity is vital to your ability to learn and retain information.
Muscle Memory & Motor Skills Improvement
Similar to how your brain strengthens memories, it also helps improve muscle memory and motor skills while you sleep. By reinforcing skills you’ve learned during waking hours, sleeping allows your body to remember more thoroughly how to complete physical tasks, both new and old.
The brain prepares the motor functions that are necessary to make decisions, even while we’re asleep. Sleeping also gives your brain and body enough rest to make good decisions that may have seemed to have an impossible solution before sleeping.
Connecting Concepts in Creative Ways
When you sleep, your brain replays the events of the day and transitions memories from short-term to long-term. By cycling through memories, thoughts, and events, your brain helps you to connect seemingly unrelated things in new and creative ways.
The next time you resist hitting the mattress for some Z’s think of all the health benefits for your body and mind!