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The Characteristics and Functions of Sleep

More than one third of one's life time is spent in morpheus, and all need to keep the right amount of sleep daily, otherwise, people are prone to physical or mental illness, this means that sleep is so important to people. Sleep is also the most important, periodic physiological process in a limited life. Why is sleep so important to life?Below are the characteristics and functions of sleep to introduce the importance of sleep.

The occurrence and regulation of sleep is one of the special functions of the brain, and involves changes in all aspects of the body.Generally speaking, sleep is a periodic physiological process consisting of non-rem (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep states. During REM sleep, the muscles of the body are relaxed, not sensitive to external stimuli, and also known as deep sleep, rapid eye movement (so REM sleep), which occurs during this period. NREM sleep is more sensitive to external stimulation, and can respond to it. The muscles in the body are not loose enough to move quickly. A normal adult first into NREM sleep,from the shallower to the deeper, and then enter REM sleep, after REM sleep (about 90 mins), enter into NREM sleep again, the whole night's sleep can have 3-6 NREM/REM sleep cycle. At the same time, as sleep cycles changes, the person's breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, muscle tension and other cyclical changes and adjustment, and adapt to physiological needs of rest and recovery of body. Therefore, it can be said that sleep is a physiological process of self-regulation of the body.

After observation, sleep may have six functions:

(1) Promote brain function growth and development. It is mainly related to REM sleep.REM sleep is still active in the brain, and the brain is still in the process of integrating information from various memories, adjusting the connections between the brain's nervous system constantly.

(2)To preserve the energy of the brain and the body. It is mainly related to NREM sleep. NREM sleep is the function of the brain and body in a stage of the relatively quiet, at this time a substantial reduction in body metabolism, especially in deep stage, heartbeat is slowed, drop 10-30 times per minute, deep breathing becomes slow, the basal metabolic rate and cerebral metabolic drop 10-15%, 10-30 MMHG lower blood pressure and cerebral blood flow by 25%, the nutrient content of the brain increased significantly, there was a significant increase in a number of nutrients in the brain. Sleep, therefore, preserves the brain's energy and allows the body to recover.

(3)It consolidates memory and keeps the brain functioning optimally. If sleep deprivation or sleep deprivation can cause attention and memory loss, it's easy to forget what you already remember. In the event of a car accident, the U.S. space shuttle challenger, and the three-mile island nuclear power plant accident, it was related to insufficient sleep and lack of response.

⑷Strengthen the body's immune system During sleep, the body can regulate the production of more immune cells and substances, which are beneficial to the human body against disease.On the contrary, lack of sleep or sleep disorders can also lead to immune disorders, leading to the occurrence and development of diseases.

(5)Promote body growth and slow down aging  The vast majority of growth hormone is produced in the deep sleep period, while growth hormone promotes body growth and delaying aging, so sleep can promote growth and delay aging. In fact, many chronic insomniacs often appear premature aging, also a kind of verification.

(6)Protect the central nervous system.During sleep, the blood-brain barrier is weakened, preventing harmful substances from entering the brain and protecting the central nervous system.

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