Sleep Awareness Week: The Importance and Benefits of Sleep

 

                A few years ago, if you had asked me about the importance of sleep I would have told you it was important to re-energize. But, that is just one of the few benefits of sleep. The science of sleep is a very young subject and every year I learn a little more about the importance of sleep and the benefits it has in one’s life.  Despite all the research done on sleep, it is still fascinating to know that there is not a whole lot of information that scientist understand about sleep. However, they have mentioned a few things they understand about the importance of sleep:

1.Sleep is more important than Food – when it comes to improving performance. Anders Ericsson’s famous study of violinists focuses on performers sleeping an average of 8 hours out of every 24 with naps in between. Those who slept more than the average American were the top violinists and performers.

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2.Sleep Improves memory and critical thinking – sleep loss means mind loss due to the fact that sleep loss cripples immediate memory, working memory, mood, logical reasoning ability, and general math knowledge. The term “sleep on it” comes into play when talking about this subject. If you sleep over a problem or dilemma you are more than likely to think more clearly and have better problem solving skills!

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3. Sleeping can put you in a good mood– Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. These result in people experiencing a more negative attitude when they don’t get enough sleep.

4.Napping is good– When you start to feel tired in the afternoon that is just your brain relaying that it wants to nap. Napping( power napping)and sleeping make you a smarter person and help short term memory storage. This helps make room for new information to be stored and helps revitalize you. Power naps are extremely beneficial and should only last between 15-20 minutes around noon (anything later than 3pm can disrupt your sleep cycle).

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These are just a few of the important basic understandings of sleep. The basic understanding that all must take away is that sleep does impact the important part of your brains that help develop you into a healthier person mentally and physically. I am personally excited to see where the science of sleep will be in 10 or even 20 years.  I am sure that the growing science of sleep will lead us to embark on journeys of our own dreams, allow us to see what we can’t, and grow our minds even more!

blog author: Jesse, Bedding Expert

Resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-schwartz/sleep_b_832353.html

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/the-secret-and-surprising-power-of-naps

http://www.businessinsider.com/mind-blowing-science-of-sleep-2013-11

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20459221_2,00.html)

http://www.apa.org/research/action/sleep-deprivation.aspx

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