It is a myth to think that when we sleep, our brain asleeps too! When we are sleep, our brain is working hard to fit everything together and to summarize the information we acquired during the day. Sleep helps us to gain insights and see the gists in things! So, the phrase “sleep on it” is actually based on evidence!
Our tendency to sleep is dictated by two forces, and the balance between two forces, homeostatic sleep drive, and circadian arousal system. The interaction between these two forces dictates when we sleep and when to wake up.
Sleep has also a huge impact on our memory and learning! When we are asleep our memory is consolidated, we gain a boost in learning especially procedural, memories of “how” to do things, and declarative memories, memories of fact-based information. Offline processes happen that help to cement information from the day.
Importantly, the fluid in our brain helps to gets rid of toxins during sleep time.
The fluid in our brain works like a dishwasher that helps to get rid of toxins and flush out the byproducts during our sleep!
What to do?
Now we know that sleep is crucial for our learning and memory and so much more, how we can improve the quality of our sleep?
To improve your sleep quality here are some suggestions:
- have a specific time to go to bed,
- have a routine around your bedtime and,
- avoid stimulants before bed, whether it is a heavy meal or an exciting book,
- have regular exercise, but high-intensity exercises in the morning and stretching and relaxing ones in the evening perhaps!
- Think about your sleep environment in terms of a trigger, what does it trigger? Work or relaxation. That’s critical for restorative sleep.
Your sleep environment needs to be dedicated to sleep and sex, not watching TV, not working, and responding to emails.
Head over to Neuroacer.com for the online program in which we cover more tips for sleep quality!