What happens to my body while I sleep?

Sleep provides the foundation for all our daily habits and decisions. There is a lot going on behind the scenes while we sleep, our brain and our body are kept busy!

1. Running repairs and boosting immunity

During periods of deep sleep, your body gets to work repairing cells, muscles, and organs. Immune-strengthening chemicals circulate throughout your bloodstream. The pituitary gland releases a growth hormone that helps repair the body.

2. Forming memories and solving problems

While you sleep, your brain files away important information. Sleep triggers changes in the brain, helping to solidify connections between cells and pass information from one part of the brain to another. This helps create and consolidate long-term memories. Additionally, sleep helps you find solutions to new problems. Fragments of knowledge are pulled from different experiences to produce ‘a-ha!’ moments when awake.

3. Removing toxins and ‘washing’ the brain

While we are awake, toxins build up between our brain cells. Numerous studies show that, like the rest of our body, the brain detoxifies itself. During sleep, the cerebrospinal fluid flows through the brain, removing toxins and protein waste accumulated through a hard day thinking. This process is believed to work to prevent cognitive decline and diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

4. Hormonal harmony

While asleep, your body ramps up production of certain hormones and lowers others. For example, growth hormones increase, and stress hormones decrease. A healthy sleep pattern helps keep these hormones balanced. Sleep deprivation can cause a hormonal imbalance, leaving you more sensitive to stress, prone to weight gain, and with a suppressed immune system.


Struggling to get a good night’s rest?

If you are having problems with your sleep, get in touch with our friendly team to find out how we can help you.

If you are worried about your sleep problem, make an appointment to see our sleep specialist.

If you want to learn how your sleep problem is affecting you and what treatments can help, take our sleep test.

Auckland Sleep provides a multi-faceted approach to treating sleep disorders. Our goal is to provide the best possible sleep treatments, accessible to everyone in the community.