If you are not feeling your healthiest, the first question to ask yourself is: am I getting enough sleep? You probably know that sleep helps your whole body relax and your brain process memory from the activities of the day.
But do you know that a good night of rest can also help your brain detox in the literal sense? Researchers find that brain cells flush out toxins during sleep. Therefore, good sleep patterns can detox both the body and the mind.
What Are the Four Stages of Sleep?
Brain science shows that there are four stages of sleep characterized by the brain’s different functions in maintaining overall cognitive performance. During the first phase when you are still relatively awake, the brain produces small and fast beta waves. As the brain begins to relax and slow down with reduced light and noise, it lights up with alpha waves which mark the transition into a deep sleep. Between wakefulness and sleep, your body and brain slow down to a relaxed mode.
The second stage of sleep is characterized by the brain’s rapid, rhythmic wave activity as it processes and filters memories from the day. Your body temperature drops, heart rate slows down and eye movements stop. These physiological changes are preparing the body and the brain to enter the third phase, which is a deep sleep state. As delta brain waves emerge and you are in deep sleep, any noise or activity in the environment may fail to wake you. The body and brain repair, restore, and reset during this stage.
The last phase is REM sleep when your voluntary muscles become immobilized, but your brain lights up with activity. Breathing may become faster and more irregular. Eye movement speeds up as you begin to dream. The last two phases of sleep both function as memory consolidation, however, REM sleep is normally thought of as the stage when emotions are processed and stored.
How Do the Body and Brain Detox During Sleep?
Your body is effectively removing waste products during the third and fourth phases of sleep. For example, the space between your brain cells can increase, allowing the flushing out of damaging molecules. The result is a reduced risk of neurodegeneration.
Like it or not, your body builds up toxins on a daily basis. These toxins may result from food intake, stress, changes in mood. Stress may increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier with corticotropin-releasing hormones, causing the body to develop neuroinflammatory conditions. During sleep, certain hormones are released to slow breathing and relax your muscles. These sleep-inducing hormones can at the same time reduce inflammation in the body.
What Happens During Interruption of Sleep Patterns?
During a full night of undisturbed sleep, the sleep stages progress from one to the next and repeat. However, many factors may interrupt your natural sleep pattern. These include aging, nocturia, pain, mood disorders, insomnia, sleep disorders, and other health conditions. When you are sleep-deprived, your body loses part of its natural detox ability.
Sleep loss is increasingly problematic among working professionals who experience work-related stress, burnout, and social media overconsumption. Once the body’s natural rhythm is interrupted, key organs have function suboptimally during the day. For example, lack of sleep may negatively affect the liver’s natural metabolic clock. If you do not realize the importance of sleep detox, you may prioritize things like work or screen time above good sleep.
How Can You Ensure Sleep Detox Every Night?
Sleep detox strengthens your mind and body as a whole. It is important to make good sleep habits a top priority for your overall health. If you are experiencing sleep problems, there are ways to help you return to this basic and natural rhythm.
First, you need to avoid all chemicals that might make it difficult for you to fall asleep in the evening. These include substances, caffeine, and nicotine. Equally important is applying self-care techniques to create a comfortable and relaxing environment for your body’s relaxation. Be sure that your diet includes enough nutrients for the natural healing of the body. Ensure regular exercise so the body stays fit and alert during the day. Practicing mindfulness meditation for ten minutes each night before bed is a good way to help your entire body relax.
Because sleep detox is related to the entire body, you may need to re-examine your entire lifestyle to remove unnatural chemicals and apply sleep-inducive techniques to your daily routines. Since the benefits of sleep detox are unmatched, it should be a top priority.
Are you aware of the benefits of sleep detox? It strengthens your mind and body as a whole. Do you know how to ensure getting enough rest from uninterrupted sleep? It is important to make a good night’s sleep a top priority for your overall health. But even if you are experiencing sleep problems, there are ways to help you return to this basic and natural rhythm. You can work with experienced therapists to improve your sleep quality. At Casa Recovery, we have a group of experienced health professionals who specialize in supporting recovering individuals by addressing a wide range of co-occurring health issues, including mental health concerns, eating and sleep problems. Your treatment team will work with you to provide customized efficient and effective treatment methods that have been developed and applied in clinical settings. You cannot find a better team than what we offer at Casa Recovery. Call today at (888) 928-2272.