What is sleep, and how does it affect our brains?

Until the 1950's, no one knew what our brains do while we sleep. Now we know the brain is very active once in deep sleep. Not only that, but we now know how important it is. Sleep is necessary for the proper function of the brain.

Introducing Sleep

Before we get into big details- what is sleep? Chemicals called neurotransmitters signal the nerves in the brain that control when you are awake or asleep. There are five stages of sleep. (Brain 1) While a person is in stage one, he or she will easily wake and, perhaps, remember stories we call dreams. The next three stages are basically just deeper and deeper sleep, until the last stage, called REM (or Rapid Eye Movement). While in REM sleep, muscles in our limbs become temporarily paralyzed.

Why is Sleep Important?

Without enough sleep our brain will not function properly. Scientists have found with animal studies (rats) that it s important for survival. (Brain Basics 1) It is also necessary for one's nervous system. Too little will damage the memory and physical capability.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

There are many sleep disease's. One is Sleep Deprivation. This is when one's body and brain are deprived of sleep. "Sleep deprivation affects the Immune System in detrimental ways." (Brain Basics 1). If sleep deprivation lasts, hallucinations and mood swings may begin to develop.
Sleep is not only important to stay awake, it also is keeps you happy and healthy. Sleep is also necessary for the proper function of the brain. (As I have said many times before!) There are many diseases in the world that affect sleep. Never forget how important sleep is!


Work Cited

¨Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep,¨ National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, N.p, Dec. 5th 2013, web, Jan. 7th 2014.

S.L., ¨The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior,¨Serendip Studio, N.p, Jan. 3rd 2008, Web, Feb. 5th 2014.