While you’re sleeping, your body is in a resting mode. But even though it might not seem like that, your brain is still active. It’s performing different tasks that will benefit you the next day. Here are five surprising things your brain does while you’re asleep.
1. It Stores Memories
Each day, you acquire many pieces of new information that get stored in your short-term memory. One of the things your brain does is that it helps you retain this information. While you sleep, the brain takes these bits and pieces and stores them into your long-term memory bank. That way, you’ll have no trouble remembering them in the future.
2. It Cleans Itself
A 2013 study found that your brain rids itself of toxins while you’re asleep. It achieves that by pumping the cerebral spinal fluid that cleans out the harmful molecules. Over time, these molecules can build up and could thus speed up the age-related mental decline. So, this is how your brain protects itself and preserves its vitality.
3. It Helps You Make Decisions
Some cultures have a saying that the morning is smarter than the evening. According to a 2014 study, there might be some truth to that. While you sleep, your brain processes the issues that are giving you a hard time. In doing so, it helps you make a sound decision as soon as you wake up.
4. It Helps You Lose Weight
Ghrelin is the hunger hormone your brain naturally produces. When its levels rise, you will feel hungry even if you’ve just eaten. But research shows that a good night’s sleep helps keep your ghrelin levels in check. This, in turn, can help you lose weight more easily.
5. It Improves Your Skills
While you sleep, your brain processes information related to different physical tasks. During the REM phase, it stores the basic skills and moves into the frontal lobe. As such, you can pretty much become a better driver, a better athlete, or a better dancer overnight.