There are a number of healthy reasons to ensure you get a good amount of sleep apart from the fact that good sleep feels good. We are hoping our readers will take sleep more seriously this year. For the days when your brain is screaming for some relaxation (and even when it isn’t), here’s why you should sleep more and what will happen if you don’t:
Through strengthening certain neural connections, sleep helps solidify lasting memory. It helps to make different connections during the day and sieves them according to importance into memories worth saving and what the brain needs. Studies have been conducted as to this phenomenon and in one of such; participants had to learn to tap buttons in a certain manner. When learning the task and recalling the task were separated by a night’s sleep, the participants did much better. With the help of sleep, the brain simply sifts through the day’s “records” for memories it needs and ditches those that it doesn’t.
The lymphatic system of the brain opens up while we’re asleep and goes through the process of pushing out toxins while we’re asleep. Imagine having an area of your brain dedicated to night duties just for you? The period of sleep is also when this part of the brain does its job the most; rapidly too. The space between the brain cells expand during sleep, which makes it easy to clean certain unwanted proteins and toxins accumulated during the day, through cerebrospinal fluid. So you see, it’s a really smart move to answer to sleep when it calls.
Have you ever had times when you feel your brain shut down and it’s hard for you to make decisions or pay attention? It’s probably because you didn’t get any sleep! When you’re deprived of sleep, it strongly disrupts your ability to multitask. Sleep deprivation leaves you with poorer performance on certain neurobehavioral tasks involving attention and short term memory.
Sleep improves creativity. Good sleep improves creativity. One study had participants learning a task involving numbers, in which they had to detect a pattern hidden in the questions. People who got a night of sleep were much more successful at figuring it out than people who were sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation cuts off divergent thinking (thinking outside the box) and retains convergent thinking (being able to figure out the correct answer).
How well/often do you sleep? Maybe you need a schedule that could work for sharpening your brain? Let’s talk in the comments!