As you slip into unconsciousness at night, did you know that your body and brain are still very much at work?
In a way, the body and brain go through a phase of “housekeeping” as you are sound asleep. Nearly every type of system and tissue is affected by sleep. This includes your lungs, brain, heart, immune system, metabolism, etc. A lack of sleep also affects your disease resistance, leaving you more susceptible to sickness, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and much more. This demonstrates just how important it is to get a good night’s rest. As you choose products that include KulKote, such as bedding and pillows, you’ll be able to help your body and brain achieve these crucial tasks.
Now that you’re aware that your body and brain continue to work while you’re asleep, are you interested to know how?
The hypothalamus, a very small structure inside the brain, contains groups of nerve cells that control sleep and wakefulness. Inside the hypothalamus, you will also discover an even smaller suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). This contains thousands of cells that are continuously receiving information regarding light and light exposure. The SCN receives this information directly from the eyes. This explains why it is important to set aside the electronics at night. We would suggest putting them away 1-2 hours before you hit the sack. As you expose yourself to that soft blue light emitted by your technology screens, your brain is recognizing that there is light and it begins to suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps your body fall asleep. A great alternative to using your technology right before bed is reading a book by a small lamp or doing some yoga to calm your body from the stresses of the day. This will not only help you fall asleep faster, but help you stay asleep to ensure that you are getting the quantity and quality of sleep that your body needs.
The brain stem (located between the cerebral hemispheres and cervical spinal cord) stays in communication with the hypothalamus to transition from the stages of sleep and wakefulness. The cells within the brainstem and hypothalamus advocate sleep by producing the brain chemical, GABA. This chemical reduces the activity of the arousal centers in both the brainstem and hypothalamus. During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the brain is high-functioning, yet the body is partially paralyzed. This is to prevent you from acting out your dreams or being exposed to any harm. The brainstem is responsible for this temporary paralysis because it sends signals to relax muscles and help you feel more calm.
The thalamus plays a big role in the REM stages of sleep. The thalamus is the masses of gray matter that lie between the cerebral hemispheres that relay sensory information. During Non-REM sleep, the thalamus remains hushed, allowing you to tune out the external world. However, the thalamus is highly active during REM sleep. The cerebral cortex receives images, sensations, and sounds from the thalamus. In other words, this is how dreaming occurs.
The pineal gland is a pea-sized mass of tissue that lies between the brain’s two hemispheres. It plays a role in controlling the circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock, or the body’s sleep/wake cycle. The pineal gland increases the production of the hormone, melatonin, which is crucial in helping you fall and stay asleep at night.
The amygdala, the almond-shaped mass of gray matter inside each cerebral hemisphere, also becomes highly active during REM sleep. It is involved with the processing of memory, decision making, and experiencing of emotions when you are awake and also when you’re dreaming.
As you see, the brain and body are very much at work as you are sleeping. As you understand the science behind sleep, you also begin to understand just how crucial it is to get a good night's rest. Studies have reported that approximately 55 million adults, due to life’s stresses; work, money, relationships, etc., struggle to slip into the deep stages of sleep at night. Therefore, they are not reaping the multiple health benefits those sleep stages have to offer. KulKote will help you achieve that deeper sleep by regulating your body temperature throughout the night.
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