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The Science of Sleep

We sleep for one-quarter of our lives. That’s a lot of sleep. We often hear about the importance of getting a good night’s rest and the serious impact that poor sleeping has on our everyday lives. Let’s look at the science behind these claims and why it’s so important to prioritize sleep. 

We used to think that our brains were totally inactive during sleep. However, researchers at Johns Hopkins have blown that theory out of the water. It turns out that while we sleep, our brains are extremely active. Sleep is when our brains recharge and engage in activities that are necessary to our lives. During the night, we cycle between REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and non-REM sleep about four or five times. Non-REM sleep is the more restful period of sleep wherein our brains are recharging and detoxing from the day. REM sleep occurs when our eyes move back and forth rapidly and our brains are engaged. This is when dreaming happens. Now that we know some of the basics of sleep, why is it so important to get plenty of it?

Studies continually show that sleep is directly related to neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to adapt to situations, learn new things, and train and re-train itself. This is especially important during recovery, as our brains are learning new coping tools and healthier patterns. Lack of sleep also inhibits memory. We’re not as sharp. You probably know the feeling of grogginess when you don’t sleep enough. You’re just not on your game. Our minds and bodies are connected, so sleep has a serious impact on our bodies, too.

When we get enough sleep, we feel rested, energized, and ready for the day. Studies show that when our sleep is continually compromised, our immune systems don’t function optimally, leaving us at a greater risk of illness. Lack of sleep also contributes to anxiety and depression. Sleeping is a free and essential self-care tool. Check-in with your sleep patterns and make sure you’re prioritizing your sleep. Your mind and body will thank you.


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premiere men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.

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