Why is sleep so important for the mind and body?
Sleep affects almost every aspect of our physiology, says Michael Timothy Smith, MA, PhD, director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins University. Watch this HealthMakers video to learn how the body "tunes up" during sleep.
At nighttime, really, sleep is the tune-up. And it just sort of optimizes every aspect of our physiology.
Sleep-- it impacts almost every aspect of our physiology, our mind and our spirit, as well as our biology.
And I think people always ask me, what's the function of sleep? And there's no one answer. I kind of think about it as a-- sleep is almost like a tune-up,
like a 20,000-mile tune-up for your car, just that we need it every night. And when you think about it, when
we live our day, when we go through our day, we're assaulted with information. We're stressed out. We're making decisions.
We're using our bodies. We're burning fuel. We're doing a bunch of stuff. The machines of our body are-- are-- are just being bombarded with information
that it's trying to sort out. And so at nighttime, really, sleep is-- is the tune-up. And it just sort of optimizes every aspect of our physiology.
So it resets our-- it's like changing the-- the oil and getting out the sludge. It's resetting the neurotransmitters
so they can function the next day the appropriate way. It's sort of taking your memories and sort of figuring out, well, of all this information
that I took in today, which ones are important? Which ones can I forget? And then it takes the important ones. And part of your sleep system really accentuates those
and activates them and then connects them with other memories in your-- in the fabric of your brain.
And so it forms-- it-- it-- just, there's so many functions. It impacts our metabolism, for example.
You know, you think about it. When you go to sleep, your heart rate actually uses-- naturally just drops two or three beats per minute.
Just think about that for-- for-- for a minute and think that you do this, you know, 30% of your life. 30% of your life, your heart rate is slower.
And that-- that really allows you to-- it-- it preserves your body. And it actually extends your life. So, you know, sleep really is-- is just
absolutely critical for optimal functioning, optimization, mind and physiology and body. [AUDIO LOGO]
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