The Connection Between Sleep and Brain Function
The connection between sleep and brain function is very important to understand. Sleep is something that all animals and humans cannot live without. The average person sleeps one-third of their life. While adults should sleep at least 7 hours per night, most people do not get it.
Sleep is essential to good physical health and also for brain health. People who suffer from sleep deprivation experience many problems from depression to stress. Other health-related illnesses include hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. They also experience problems with memory and learning.
During sleep, your brain processes information from the day and it forms memories. Sleep is critical for memory and learning. When you do not get enough sleep, your brain becomes foggy and it affects your judgment and fine motor skills.
The lack of sleep affects learning and memory in a couple ways:
Not enough sleep impairs a person’s ability to focus and learn efficiently.
Adequate sleep is essential to make a memory stick in your brain so that you can remember it in the future.
Sleep is necessary for absorbing and recalling new information. Sleep sharpens your mind. Not enough sleep leaves you tired and forgetful. Sleep also affects physical reflexes and it also affects a person’s judgement. In fact, people who are sleep deprived are more emotional, get upset more easily and often think they are right when they are wrong.
Sleep deprivation or sleep disorders affect 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. Americans are getting six or fewer hours of sleep per night. In fact, 87% of U.S. High School Students are chronically sleep-deprived. Sleep deprivation is a huge problem and the affects on physical and mental health are very serious and need to be addressed.
Here are some sleeping recommendations to help your brain function better:
Avoid alcohol, smoking and caffeine before bed.
Get regular exercise but do not workout close to bedtime.
Have a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
Read, meditate or take a soothing bath before bed helps take your mind off stressful things and helps you relax.
Use your bed for sleep and sex only. Shut off the TV and computer.
The connection between sleep and brain function is inter-dependent. Sleep is your friend and it’s good for your physical and brain health. If you feel foggy or forgetful during the day, think about getting more sleep. Sleep will keep you healthier and it will keep your memory sharper!
A healthy diet consisting of lean protein, legumes, vegetables, and fresh fruit will also make you feel better and keep your brain more focused.