You’ve got questions, and Dr. Lisa Shives, our sleep expert, will answer them! We gather sleep questions from our Facebook page, and Dr. Shives answers them right here. In this installment, Dr. Lisa answers a question from someone who wonders what happens to our muscles while we sleep…
Guy Beardsley asks: Does muscle and joint repair only take place during REM sleep?
Dr. Lisa says: If you search the web on this topic you’ll find a variety of answers, many of which are unscientific or untrustworthy. We know that sleep is necessary for the body to repair itself on a cellular level, and research indicates that much of that repair work is done during non-REM, or NREM, sleep. It is during this time that growth hormones are secreted by the body, which allows the body to regenerate cells.
Regardless of when the repair work takes place, we do know that the body simply works better when it gets the proper amount of sleep. Not only are well-rested individuals more coordinated, their immune system are stronger and they perform better on cognitive tests. The benefits of a good night’s sleep are simply too plentiful to count.
Dr. Shives works with SleepBetter.org to provide a medical view of sleep issues. She is one of only a few practitioners with a fellowship in Sleep Medicine in addition to board certification by both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine.