We all know that our body needs 7-8 hours of sleep every day for functioning efficiently. However, some estimates suggest that our average sleeping hours have dipped to 6.8 hours a day, globally. In fact, Indians manage to sleep only for 6 hours 10 minutes every day, suggest data from Sleep Cycle, a sleep tracking tool. But what does poor sleep do to your body? Well, the consequences are far too many, starting from increasing your risk of diabetes and heart ailments to giving you a weak immune system as well as poor memory among others. In order to make us aware of these dangerous sleep facts and motivate us to practise good sleep habits, World Sleep Day (WSD) is celebrated every year on the Friday before Spring Vernal Equinox. This year, the date for observing WSD is 13th March.
Organised by the World Sleep Day Committee of World Sleep Society (WSS), the celebration of World Sleep Day started way back in 2008. Every year, there is a theme for the celebration. This year, the theme is ' Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet'. As we celebrate World Sleep Day today, here are some surprising snooze-time facts that you need to know.
Your height increases a bit when you sleep
When you stand up, the discs in your spine are pressed down by your body weight. This doesn't happen when you are asleep. So your discs rehydrate and you become a little taller.
Many biological functions become sluggish when you sleep. The same holds true in case of your kidneys. That's why you hardly need to pee while asleep.
You clench your teeth
yes, some of us do it while in deep sleep. Known as bruxism, this condition can be the result of stress. This can cause your teeth to break.
Your brain processes the memory
If you believe that your brain sleeps when you sleep, then you are wrong. Your brain is actually at work and has not shut off. It is busy sorting and filing the information which you've collected through the day. This process of storing the information is followed by your system for later use.
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Your body releases certain hormones
There are a lot of hormones which are released by your body during snooze time. Melatonin, released by the pineal gland, controls your sleep patterns. The levels of this hormone increase at night which makes you feel sleepy. While you are asleep, your pituitary gland releases the growth hormone, helping your body to grow and repair itself.
Your nervous system relaxes
Your sympathetic nervous system, which controls your fight or flight response, chills out a bit and gets ready for the following day. According to various studies, your sympathetic nervous system may become overactive when you are sleep deprived. This may also lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure.