7 things your body is doing while you sleep


  1. When you are in deep sleep, or REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, your brain is awake and just as active as it is during the day. During this time, you will be dreaming, and your brain will be sorting through information gathered during the day. This is when facts, experiences, and events are solidified into your memory.
  2. Your muscles will become paralysed during REM sleep, meaning you will not move at all. It is believed that the brain will freeze your muscles so that you will not act out your dreams.
  3. Your immune system will be fighting off any viruses, inflammation, and bad bacteria. While you sleep, your body is healing you of ailments and ensuring you are in tip shape for the following day. Your mum knows what she’s doing when she says ‘you’ll feel better in the morning’.
  4. Hormones will be released. When you sleep, or are about to sleep, some hormones will be flooding your body, as others will be reducing. Melatonin, what we call the sleep hormone, begins to increase two hours before bed, and will decrease as you wake up in the morning. Your growth hormone will also increase, which assists your body in healing and repairing.
  5. Your brain is ‘taking out the rubbish’. Scientists believe that while you’re in REM sleep, the brain is detoxifying and getting rid of toxic byproducts that can otherwise cause problems down the line.
  6. Your organs are sleeping too! Your intestines will begin functioning slower, and your liver will ‘recharge’ instead of detoxifying. Your heart rate and blood flow will also slow down as you sleep, as your adrenaline production decreases.
  7. Your blood pressure and body temperature will both lower. This is why you will usually sleep better in the cooler months, or with the air conditioner on.

Missing out on quality sleep means your body is not getting the time it needs to repair and rejuvenate. If you are consistently having trouble sleeping or getting to sleep, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

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