Why We Sleep – The New Science of Sleep and Dreams

Having a good night’s sleep is a vital part of a healthy life. Not only does it help us to relax, but it also supports our memory and emotional health. Sleep is also important if we have a physical illness or are under stress. In fact, many leading causes of disease in developed nations have acknowledged a causal link between sleep deprivation and the development of their illnesses. Fortunately, there are easy things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.

One book that explores the importance of sleep is Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams. It was written by Matthew Walker, an English scientist based at the University of California, Berkeley. He specializes in neuroscience and psychology. Previously, he was a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His current research involves how sleep influences our physical and emotional well-being.

During REM sleep, the brain is virtually free from the anxiety-triggering molecule epinephrine, which is responsible for our fear response. However, this is not the case during NREM sleep. Instead, the brain is filled with the neurotransmitter noradrenaline, which is similar to epinephrine. This molecule works with other chemicals, including cytokines, to fight inflammation and infection. These cytokines produce immune cells to prevent sickness and destroy harmful germs.

When we don’t get enough sleep, we have a greater risk of developing heart disease and other ailments. While we are aware that sleep is essential for a healthy body, we are often not aware of its role in helping our bodies maintain a healthy heart. There are a number of simple ways to make sure you’re getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night. By improving your sleep, you can enhance your memory and emotional health, and you can even reduce your risk of heart disease.

One way to ensure you get more sleep is to change your waking habits. If you are a sleep-deprived worker, for example, you should think about setting limits on your workday. You might also consider taking a nap in the afternoon. REM sleep is particularly important because it helps your brain reorganize itself.

Another aspect of sleep is the glymphatic system of the brain, which is the part of the central nervous system that clears out toxic waste from the brain. This system helps the brain to operate effectively when we are awake.

The glymphatic system also plays a crucial role in our emotional lives. While we are sleeping, our heart rate slows and our muscles continue to relax. Our brain’s glymphatic system is also capable of clearing away toxins that can clog the brain’s neurons.

As a result of all this, a good night’s sleep can be an important step to taking care of your health and making your dreams come true. So, if you’re interested in learning more about how sleep affects your body, Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep is a must-read for you.


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