Two organs that really need you to sleep!
We have an incredible biological clock within our bodies that drives the rhythm and timing of certain functions for each of our organ systems. Enough sleep at the right time is key to maximizing the efforts of two organs that are hard at work while you catch those Z’s.
Your brain and your liver are the superstars that clean up shop during those overnight hours. Individual sleep needs vary but a minimum of 7 hours, especially if you are on the path to better health, is recommended.
Sleep is essential for survival since without sleep you are not able to maintain or form new pathways in your brain. These pathways are involved in learning and creating memories. It is also extremely difficult to focus or respond quickly with lack of sleep. While you sleep the brain clears out all the toxins that were built up during the day. Every chemical reaction that allows you to function properly results in a cellular waste product that needs to be removed.
Between the hours of 11 pm and 3 am, the blood circulation is concentrated in your marvelous liver. So much so, it even gets a little bit bigger! This makes it more efficient for the liver to clean the blood of toxins and metabolic waste that have built up from a full day of cellular function. This is why lack of sleep can increase the chances of you getting sick, gaining weight, or aging quicker. If the liver doesn’t have the time to do it’s thing, all those toxins and waste products accumulated in the body.
Try getting into a routine where you start to wind down your day about an hour before you want to get to sleep. This could involve some very simple stretching and breathing to relax, or meditation. Definitely avoid screen time in that last hour. Eat no less than 2 hours before going to sleep, ideally 3 hours. And if you can make your target sleep time no later than 10 pm, you’ve given your body a restful head start for that liver and brain to get to work.