Sleep is the time when our body and mind are at rest. Various physiological changes occur in our body during sleep. When we are awake the physiological factors of our body like temperature, blood pressure, oxygen level, glucose content and so on are at optimal levels to facilitate smooth body functioning. However, when sleeping, the level of these are reduced due to the lowering of functional demands.
Assessment Of Physiological Changes During Sleep
Many of the physiological variables like heart rate are irregular in our conscious state. These are slowed down and regularised during sleep. The status of various physiological changes occurring during sleep are as follows: -
Studies on brain activity during sleep has been going on for quite some years. They have shown that the brain remains active throughout the sleeping hours. In fact, the rate of neuron activity is higher in REM state, stage of sleep associated with dreaming, than during the wake stage. The pattern of neuron activity might be the reason for the intensity associated with dreaming process.
The temperature of our body is maintained at a certain level during the conscious state with functions such as sweating, changing blood flow, shivering and so on. This procedure of controlling temperature fluctuations is known as thermoregulation. During sleep our body temperature is known to reduce by about two Fahrenheit.
Breathing during sleep is known to be regularised and slower than during the wakeful hour, when breathing patterns are affected by activity, emotions or stress.
The cardiovascular activity varies during sleep and conscious hours. It varies during the different stages of sleep as well. The rate of cardiovascular activity is greater during REM stage of sleep.
Physiological activities like urine production are known to decrease during sleep. However, the rate of some activities contributing to growth like production of growth hormone, cell repair and the sort are known to increase during sleep.
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