Why is it so hard for your body to wake up one hour earlier, or adjust to a different time zone? These are just a couple of questions that can be answered by taking a deeper dive into the science of sleep. Don’t worry; we won’t be getting into the tedious scientific detail. Instead, we’ll try to give you a clearer idea about what goes on in your body while you’re asleep, and what kinds of processes are responsible for getting a good night’s rest.
Maybe you’re a world traveler, and you think nothing of crossing a half a dozen time zones in a few hours. Or perhaps you work at night, or it’s finals week, and sleep is less important than passing calculus. Whatever the case, living the night-life for a long time can mess you up, leaving you exhausted, confused and probably sick. That’s because you, just like most other inhabitants of the planet, have a special biological system that keeps your body and mind sharp, flushing your ‘working memory’ and allowing your organs and muscles to recover and grow.
At first glance, sleep may seem like the simplest thing in the world. Get tired, go to bed, wake up, rinse, and repeat. But, as it turns out, things are rarely as simple as they seem. That’s why there’s a whole field of science and medicine dedicated to this phenomenon, and it might be a good idea to learn a thing or two about it, especially if you find yourself struggling to catch Z’s.