10 Curious Things that Happen while You Sleep
When you close your eyes, you want to basically get a quiet and restful night’s sleep. But actually your body experiences fascinating phenomena while you sleep, which you’ll love to know about. Ready to be surprised?
1. Sudden jerks, jumps and flips
Surely this has happened to you at some time. You have just fallen asleep and suddenly you experience a sudden jerk. This is something so common that we all experience often, and it is not serious. This is a phenomenon known as hypnotic pulse that only happens while you sleep. It is due to the preparation of our body for the changes it will undergo during sleep. Our functions slow down and sometimes the brain interprets this change as a fall. Hence the reaction.
2. Sleep paralysis
This is something that many people experience. It happens only during the deepest phase of sleep, known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement). These are moments when suddenly we realize that we are dreaming, we know for example that horrible nightmare in which we are engaged is not real, but no matter how much we try to react and move, we cannot. Our arms and legs are paralyzed. This is a phenomenon that can be very scary, because we are unable to react even knowing that we are dreaming. That’s when the nightmares are more vivid.
3. Teeth gnashing or grinding
This is what is known as bruxism. Our teeth gnash due to stress or a misalignment in the jaw. This can make us wake up with a sore jaw or other dental problems.
4. Talking out loud
Has this ever happened to you or to the person sleeping next to you? It is very common and can sometimes cause problems between the couple. We may call out a word or phrase, or even verbalize a small conversation. These are phenomena that later we forget and no matter how much others try to make us remember “what we have said” we are unable to believe it.
5. Sexual arousal
It’s no surprise, surely you have experienced this on occasion. Frequently, for example, men experience nocturnal erections, something which is basically a natural and healthy consequence of the circulation and oxygenation of blood which eventually leads to this sudden erection. But this effect is not limited to men only. Women may also occasionally experience that feeling of heightened excitement due to some lewd dreams. This excitement occurs because it is precisely during the night when certain hormones capable of inducing this curious state are secreted.
6. Rapid eye movement
Despite having closed eyelids, our eyes do not stop moving, especially during REM. The truth is that scientists have not yet reached a consensus as to why this happens. Although many relate it to the increased neural stimulation, this intense brain activity that allows us to organize memories, classify information and optimize our memory. Thus the essential biological need to enjoy a peaceful and restful sleep.
7. We are a bit taller at night
Surprised? Surely, but wait we are only “a little bit” taller, nothing more. This is basically because our spine becomes more hydrated and separates a little at night, thereby allowing the disc space between vertebrae to distance itself slightly, giving us a little more height. But yes, when morning comes the discs shrink back to their original position. Interesting, right?
8. The brain detoxifies at night
As you can see sleep is essential to our health and especially for the brain, which is incredibly active during these night hours. Besides organizing and classifying information, it helps purify toxins and other harmful elements during these moments thanks to lymphatic system. It is in this way for example that proteins that protect our brain are optimized, thus avoiding diseases like Alzheimer’s.
9. Growth hormones are secreted in children
Children need sleep in order to grow, it is essential for the human growth hormone or HGH to be released and allow the muscles and bones grow. And keep in mind, it also allows the tissues in adults to regenerate. Therefore, yes, you need to sleep soundly!
10. Lose weight by sleeping!
We know that sleep is an activity that does not offer us any output, but be aware, this does not mean that we don’t use any energy at all. Because it does and much more. While you sleep, your body performs many basic functions such as detoxifying and eliminating harmful elements and that is essential for restoration. If we do not detoxify we will retain liquids, become swollen, and our kidneys will not work well… so if we do not sleep or we do not sleep well all of this will happen and a hormone called ghrelin, “the hunger hormone”, will appear. And you know what this hormone does? It makes us feel hungry. It is worth bearing in mind.