From Dr. Mercola:
Science may still be discovering the mechanisms behind why sleep is so important to your health, but you have probably experienced waking up after a poor night’s sleep, feeling cranky, over-tired and mentally foggy.
This is only a small fraction of the mental and physical health issues you may suffer from sleep deprivation.
Sleep is one of the important pillars of good health; equally important as healthy foods, pure water and exercise. An increasing number of studies demonstrate how sleep relates to your sleep-wake cycles and plays a central role in multiple processes that are key to your health.
On the surface, you may have suffered through bad moods and poor energy levels from lack of sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation can also lead to depression, weight gain, increased risk of diabetes and cancer and increased risk of accidents. Sleep is necessary to feel alert, be productive and creative and for optimal body functioning.
Quality sleep doesn’t often happen naturally. Bombarded with artificial light pollution, work stress and insufficient exposure to full-spectrum natural sunlight during daylight hours, you may need to make sleep a goal to enjoy the health benefits.
A recent study from the University Medical Center Freiburg in Germany set out to understand more about the function of sleep and the interrelationship with health disorders and treatments. Although it may appear as if sleep is an inactive state, your brain and body are actually quite busy while you’re sleeping.
Synaptic Plasticity May Hold One Answer to the Importance of Sleep
Specifically, the researchers were interested in synaptic plasticity, or how the connectivity between neurons in your brain changes. Past research has demonstrated sleep has an influence on the strength of those neuronal connections.1
This study2 looked at the overall strength of the connections between neurons and the …