Sleep is a natural healer (Posted on November 08, 2016 by By: Dr.Himanshu Arora)
Sleep is a natural healer
What is healing?
Healing is a spontaneous natural process of tissue repair, restoration of structure and function of the body. As you very well know that the body tissues constantly undergo process of degradation and renewal.
In the healing phase the same processes work by cell multiplication and protein synthesis, in which new cells are formed to take place of the old ones.
Normally a balance is maintained between the degradation and renewal process in the 24 hours. The degradation process is increased when we are awake but when we sleep the renewal processes get accelerated.
Sleep is a pleasurable physiological activity that is restorative, refreshing and energizing. These hours when body in set to rest are very active in which body does a lot of hard work.
Factors that promote healing
Healing is facilitated by various factors such as good sleep, healthy lifestyle which means nutritious diet and good exercise. However, healing is affected by many other factors like growth factors, swelling , decreased blood flow, venous stasis disease, low oxygen tension, infection, poor nutritional state, consumption of alcohol, smoking , diabetes , heart disease and other medical conditions etc.
Let us understand how sleep plays a very important role in healing:
Sleep is one way the body recovers from the damage and protects itself against illness. As we go to sleep the body repairs & restores itself.
Poor sleep delays healing
- Sleep facilitates tissue growth and regeneration - During sleep our brain releases growth hormone that helps in tissue repair and regeneration. The growth hormone actually increases the cell multiplication and protein synthesis and mobilizes free fatty acid to provide more energy. Sleep is very important, in the recovery phases of trauma, surgery , infections etc.
- Keep the immune system healthy - It is during sleep our immune system makes more fighter cells which work like defence mechanism against various microorganisms to fight off infections. As our immunity is dependent on the sleep we get, poor sleep decreases our ability to fight infections.
- Sleep boost our energy - While we are sleeping our body is repairing the day’s damage. Along with this , there is accumulation of adenosine (cellular by product) during the day,but when we sleep its is cleared away and next day we feel energetic.
- Sleep plays a role in decreasing risk of other medical conditions - During sleep there is a natural decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, that helps your heart perform better and prevent you from cardiovascular diseases.
Sleep maintains an equilibrium of hunger controlling hormones( ghrelin and leptin). At the same time it also maintains the level of insulin in blood. These two things help in prevention of obesity and diabetes.
We know now without taking a good sleep our body and mind are unable to rejuvenate for the next day. Poor sleep also adversely affect the healing process.
Sleep has immense power, it is natural source of healing for the body and mind.