Priscilla Blossom
October 07, 2015 5:30 am

 Raise your hand if you got enough sleep last night. Anyone? Yeah, that’s what we THOUGHT. According to the CDC, between 50-70 million of us aren’t getting enough rest and are suffering the consequences. Chances are you’re one of those people. Whether you like it or not (and seriously, how does anyone past the age of 5 not enjoy the glory that is lying in bed dreaming about Ryan gosling or the like?), the fact remains that we need sleep. But why? Inquiring minds, including the entire current population of toddlers, want to know. This video by PBS http://youtu.be/3mufsteNrTI attempts to crack this mystery by explaining what it is that happens to our brains and the rest of our bodies while we sleep. For example, did you know that as the sun sets and lights go out, melatonin is released from the brain to relax you like an internal lullaby? Unfortunately, that means that all those of us staying up late scrolling through our instagram feeds in bed are doing themselves a major disservice.” target=”_blank”>between 50-70 million of us aren’t getting enough rest and are suffering the consequences. Chances are you’re (probably) one of those people. Whether you like it or not (and seriously, how does anyone not enjoy the glory that is lying in bed dreaming about Ryan Gosling/pie/vacationing in Hawaii), the fact remains that we need sleep.

 Raise your hand if you got enough sleep last night. Anyone? Yeah, that’s what we THOUGHT. According to the CDC, between 50-70 million of us aren’t getting enough rest and are suffering the consequences. Chances are you’re one of those people. Whether you like it or not (and seriously, how does anyone past the age of 5 not enjoy the glory that is lying in bed dreaming about Ryan gosling or the like?), the fact remains that we need sleep. But why? Inquiring minds, including the entire current population of toddlers, want to know. This video by PBS http://youtu.be/3mufsteNrTI attempts to crack this mystery by explaining what it is that happens to our brains and the rest of our bodies while we sleep. For example, did you know that as the sun sets and lights go out, melatonin is released from the brain to relax you like an internal lullaby? Unfortunately, that means that all those of us staying up late scrolling through our instagram feeds in bed are doing themselves a major disservice.” target=”_blank”>between 50-70 million of us aren’t getting enough rest and are suffering the consequences. Chances are you’re (probably) one of those people. Whether you like it or not (and seriously, how does anyone not enjoy the glory that is lying in bed dreaming about Ryan Gosling/pie/vacationing in Hawaii), the fact remains that we need sleep.

But why? Inquiring minds, including the entire current population of toddlers, want to know. This video by PBS attempts to crack this mystery by explaining what it is that happens to our brains and the rest of our bodies while we sleep —and it’s fascinating.
So, the video explains that sleep is the single most IMPORTANT thing we humans can do for our bodies, which seems, well, fair enough. And we’re basically designed to sleep; “15 percent of our genes are connected to circadian rhythm,” according to the video. As soon as the sun sets and lights go out, melatonin is released from the brain to relax you like an “internal lullaby.” In fact, before electricity was widely used, we went to bed as soon as the sun went down, got up around midnight to chill and do whatever it is we humans did with a couple of candles, and went back to sleep until sunrise.
Our REM was split into “first sleep,” and “second sleep.”
But this is what our sleep pattern looks like now. Except if you don’t end up going to bed at 10pm, you don’t sleep longer. You just get up at the same time and end up not sleeping enough.

And while we sleep, important stuff happens within our bodies. Such as cellular repair, protein synthesis, and general body upkeep. Snoozing is also time where the body can get rid of all the neurogarbage, or “waste products that builds up in our brain cells.” And it’s a time to give our prefrontal cortex a break —since it’s going ALL DAY LONG (no, seriously, try to think about nothing and you will be thinking about something —that’s because of your prefrontal cortex).
The greatest benefit of sleep seems to be the ability to consolidate memory and rewire your brain —so that the next day you can process more clearly, perform new tasks, and be the creative person you are.
Have more questions? This video probably has your answers.
(Image via Shutterstock)
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