What Happens in Your Body When You Sleep?

Your body has all sorts of fantastic ways of regulating itself. See what happens when you drift off to dreamland. Did you know? Narcolepsy is a condition where people fall asleep without warning. It affects around one in every 2,500 people where as 10% of population struggles with insomnia – a condition where you battle to sleep.

Quick tip to fall asleep quickly

If you can’t asleep, try repeating a boring, common word over and over again in your head. Something like ‘door’. It prevents your brain from thinking about other things, hopefully allowing you to fall asleep.

Researchers say that the best way to get enough rest is to have a routine. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time in the morning.

Let’s see what happens when you sleep

1 Pituitary gland

What Happens In Your Body When You Sleep Pituitary Gland
Pituitary Gland when we sleep

During NREM sleep, your pituitary gland (which lives in your brain, roughly behind your nose) produces growth harmones and secretes prolactin – a harmone that helps to stop your body from jumping up and acting on your dreams.

2 Mouth

What Happens In Your Body When You Sleep Mouth
Mouth produce less saliva when you sleep

You produce less saliva, which reduces the need to swallow. Five percent of adults also grind their teeth at night, mostly during the early stages of sleep.

3 Lungs

What Happens In Your Body When You Sleep Lungs
Your throat muscles relax when you sleep

The throat muscles relax so your airway narrows when you breathe in. This ca cause snoring, or temporarily halt your breathing for few seconds (a condition called sleep apnoea).


4 Heart

What Happens In Your Body When You Sleep Heart
Your pulse drops by 10 to 30dbm when you sleep

Your pulse drops by 10 to 30dbm (beats per minute) while you sleep, lowering your blood pressure. Less blood flows to the brain, and more is sent to your muscles.

5 Limbs

What Happens In Your Body When You Sleep Limbs
Your limbs relax when you sleep

The extra blood swells your arms and legs slightly. Muscles are paralyzed while dreaming, but between dreams, you change your sleeping position about 35 times a night.

6 Bladder

What Happens In Your Body When You Sleep Bladder
Vasopressin harmone levels rise when you sleep

Vasopressin harmone levels rise. This reduces the amount of urine collected in the bladder to between half and a third or normal daytime levels.


Types of sleep

When you sleep, you will be in one of two states: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep or non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Each has its own function. Babies spend much of their sleepy time in REM sleep, so scientists think that this type is very important for developing your brain. When you’re in NREM sleep, your brain activity slows down and if someone wakes you suddenly, you’ll be groggy.