/ sleep

10 Things Your Body Does at Night

From the very moment that you slide into unconsciousness, your body undergoes repair and detoxification. A whole record of functions begins to take place. This ensures that you get optimal benefits from your sleep. Here are 10 things your body does while you are deep in sleep:

Fact 1: Your body lowers its core temperature.


By lowering your core temperature, your body is sending a signal to the brain to release melatonin. Releasing melatonin will affect your circadian rhythm, which is your sleep and wake cycle. This will tell your body that it is time for you to go to bed. Research has shown that your body reaches the lowest temperature around 2:30 AM. It is around this time that you would want the temperature in your room to start to rise again. Consider programming your thermostat to increase the degree every hour or so. Otherwise, you will find yourself wanting more covers to warm your body.

Fact 2: Your body loses weight.


This is why most people want to weigh themselves in the morning, rather than at night. During the night, you lose water through perspiration and breathing out humid air throughout the night. While this process occurs during the daytime hours as well, you are also eating and drinking. The eating and drinking would cancel out any weight loss. You should ideally be getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. If you are only getting 4-5 hours a night, you are hurting your body. Whatever smart diet choices you may have made during the day, and however much time you spent exercising, can be voided out if you don’t get enough sleep.

Fact 3: You actually get taller.


You will gain height in your body while you sleep.
No one will wake up a giant from sleeping, but the discs in your spine that act as cushions between the bones will rehydrate and get bigger. This is because the weight of your body is not pressing down on them, unlike when you are standing. If you sleep on your side in the fetal position, you have a better chance of getting taller. This is because sleeping on your side will decrease the load that is on your back.

Fact 4: Your blood pressure and heart rate decreases.


When you rest and go to sleep, your body does not have to work as hard or pump as much blood. This allows the systems to slow down. Your blood pressure needs to dip down at night so that your cardiac muscles and circulatory system will have time to relax and repair itself. If you suffer from high blood pressure, it is especially important to make sure that you get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. This will guarantee that your body will experience the temporary drop, and it will reduce the risk of heart disease. If you suffer from sleep apnea, make sure that you are treated for it right away. Sleep apnea can increase nighttime blood pressure.

Fact 5: Your muscles become temporarily paralyzed.


This may sound like a crazy thought, but it is actually a protection for your body. Otherwise, you would act out your dreams. This is also the reasoning for sleep paralysis or waking up while your muscles are still frozen. It typically happens when a person is moving between the stages of sleep and wakefulness. Many people describe the experience as scary knowing they are conscious, but can not move or speak.

Fact 6: During your REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, your eyes are actually darting back and forth from side to side.


Scientists are not sure why this really happens. We do know that when we dream, we are in REM sleep. If you were to wake up during this deep sleep, you may feel disoriented. You will feel the most refreshed from sleeping if you are able to go through all the sleep cycles, with the REM sleep happening toward the end. The average sleep cycle lasts for ninety minutes. If you are able to sleep for ninety minutes at a time, you will find it much easier to wake up for the day.

Fact 7: You can become sexually aroused.


During the REM sleep stage, a man can get an erection. Women can also become stimulated during the REM sleep stage as well. During REM sleep your brain is extremely more active. As a result, it requires more oxygen, which will result in an increase in the blood flow all throughout the body.

Fact 8: You are more likely to pass gas.


This is because your anal sphincter muscles will loosen slightly. This makes it easier to pass gas throughout the night. It is interesting to note, however, that while you sleep, your sense of smell is reduced. So while you may be passing gas, your spouse isn’t likely to smell anything! Because your sense of smell is reduced while sleeping, fire alarms were invented. You are less likely to smell smoke while you sleep, therefore a design needed to be made to keep people safe.

Fact 9: You may have a full body spasm.


As people are falling asleep, it is normal for them to experience a full body jerk. As many as 70% of people experience this phenomenon. This body spasm is caused when the muscles suddenly contract. Some researchers have suggested that these spasms are linked to anxiety or an irregular sleep schedule. Other researchers just think it is something that is unavoidable.

Fact 10: The collagen production in your skin increases.


Collagen is a protein that will strengthen the blood vessels and give your skin its elasticity. When you are sleeping, your body is in a fasting state. This causes a growth hormone to release and it tells your fat cells to release energy stores. The growth hormone will stimulate collagen growth. Since the collagen production increases, while you sleep, it is recommended that you use moisturizing facial creams that contain retinol and retinoid. This is best to do before bed because these products will boost the collagen turnover, combat any pigment problems and fight fine lines and wrinkles.