Has it ever intrigued your mind about why we spend such massive portion of our lives in unconsciousness or sheer inactivity? Well, getting involved in the act of sleeping for a quarter of a day can seem to be meaningless when the actual functionality of the sleep is not known.
There are quite a few theories associated with the requirement of sleep. While some researchers are of the opinion that sleeping has some evolutionary implications like keeping us protected from the animals that wake up at night and start hunting after the sun goes down, others say that a good sleep is needed for physiological reasons as it conserves body’s energy. The reasons can be anecdotal as well in this case.
But the reality is that the brain implements a lot of work at the time of sleeping. Although we are unconscious, the brain is never off. There are, in fact a lot of cognitive benefits that having a good night’s sleep can provide you with.
So the next time you are planning to study overnight, think again. Here are some of the ways sleeping actually improves the functioning of your brain and enhances your memory and concentration. Just take a look.
- Sleep Assists in Solidifying Memory – One of the major functions of sleep is that it assists in consolidating long-term memory. This is achieved not only by the solidification of certain neutral connections but also by the reduction of the unwanted ones. The brain can create a lot of connections during the day but all of them are not required to be saved. So during the sleep the brain streamlines the connections that are required by it.
- Sleep Leads to Improved Attention – Once you wake up after a good night’s sleep, you can have a greater mental clarity and concentration and you will be able to respond to the stimuli or questions faster and with greater focus.
- Toxins Including Those Related to the Alzheimer’s Are Eliminated During the Sleep – One of the most significant discoveries in the last few years is that the brain clears the toxins much faster at the time of sleeping than when we are awake. Research reveals that the lymphatic system of the brain opens up during the night and removes the toxins while being asleep at the night time.
- Learning Becomes Easier with Sleep – When you sleep well you will be able to master a new task like learning to play a new tune on the piano or violin in a more effective manner than when you are deprived of sleep. This is something which is known as the procedural memory. During the Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep, your declarative memory is also sharpened which comprises of the fact-based, complex information accessed through the day.
- Creativity is Also Boosted by Sleep –Optimum amount of sleep appears to beget creativity and the sleep deprivation actually drives it away. When a person is sleep-deprived, there are certain types of thoughts that are affected more than the others. In this case, thinking out of the box or the divergent thought process in fresher and imaginative ways seems to be the first thing to be impacted. So it can be said that sleep promotes creativity and there are various studies that have proved that fact.
- Improved Recollection is Introduced by Sleep – A sound sleep at night can assist you to remember what you learned that day and pace up the process of thinking. So sleeping is important not only for learning but also recollecting.
- Sleep Improves Concentration – Do you ever find yourself in the condition where you keep reading the same paragraph over and over again and you fail to concentrate every time? Sleep not only makes accessing new information easier, but it also helps one to concentrate through the day and thus, access new information faster.
So the next time you are thinking of skipping your snooze, remember that a good night’s sleep is imperative not only for learning new information but also to form solid memories with the help of your brain and retrieve them when the need arises.
Apart from that, if you experience certain problems while sleeping like snoring and sleep apnea you should book an appointment with your dentist or your sleep doctor without any delay so that you can sleep soundly at night. This will enable you to utilise your brain’s full potential and your improved memory and concentration to achieve maximum productivity and deliver maximum output.