The Relationship Between Your Brain and Sleep: Amazing Benefits of Sleep To Your Brain
Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. It’s true. Sleep is an essential part of your daily routine. Getting the enough quality sleep that you need is as important as eating foods and drinking water to survive.
Your brain cannot function without sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is important to different brain functions. According to an article from the Science Daily, your brain is still awake and active even while you are sleeping. But how exactly does sleep affect your brain?
Here are five things that your brain does while you are getting some shuteye.
Consolidates Your Memories
While you are getting your much-needed rest, your brain is also creating and consolidating your memories.
As you reach REM and non-REM sleep, your brain starts to link your old memory with the most recent ones. As you sleep, your brain still remains awake and begins activities in the hippocampus. The memories you acquire while you are awake are stored in this part of the brain. From the hippocampus, these stored memories are transferred to your brain’s cortex and kept as long-term memories.
If you have an examination and you need to study or you have an early presentation the next day and you need to prepare, think twice before you stay awake the whole night. If you do not have enough sleep, your ability to learn new things can decrease by 40%.
Sleep is important in creating and linking your old memory into the recent ones. It also helps you learn and remember new things.
Decreases Stress and Depression
Stress, depression, and sleep are always connected.
People who are subjected to stress and depression often have a hard time to fall and stay asleep. 60 to 90% of people with depression are suffering from insomnia while about 20% of patients with depression have sleep apnea or experience multiple pauses in breathing while sleeping.
As you sleep, your brain balances all the hormones that affect your emotions and mood. Getting a good night’s sleep improves your mental and emotional stability. Sleeping for seven to nine hours decreases your stress and depression.
Repairs Brain Damages
Sleep repairs the daily wear and tear that the brain accumulates.
During NREM sleep, your body relaxes and your blood pressure decreases. This is the stage of sleep where the muscles and tissues in your brain start to repair itself. Sleep deprivation does not only kill your brain cells; it also shrinks the size of the brain that can increase the risk of early death.
Sleep produces proteins that are important in repairing the damages caused by free radicals and stress from your daily activities. It increases the reproduction of cells that form myelin. Myelin is the insulating material that can be found on nerve cells projections in your brain and spinal cord. It is also responsible for maintaining the proper function of the nervous system.
Sleep produces proteins that repair the damages made in the brain from day to day stress and activities.
When you are in your unconscious resting stage, sleep increases your creativity. It acts as a powerful creativity booster.
Your brain is rich with imagery from the dreams you experience while on REM sleep. Dreams create a connection between things that do not seem connected before. It combines all the ideas and concepts in your mind.
A study made by researchers from the University of California at Davis used three groups of participants to conduct their study. One group was allowed to sleep and experience both REM and NREM sleeps. Another one was permitted to reach NREM but not REM while the third group was able to take some rest but to sleep at all.
The scientists used a Remote Associates Test to check their increases in creativity. The group who did not sleep and those who only reached REM sleep did not increase their creativity while those who reached the stages of REM sleep and NREM sleep showed increased creativity.
While you are asleep, the brain sorts all the ideas floating in your neural network. Sleep helps the brain have the energy and focus on doing things that need to be sorted out.
After getting seven to nine hours of sleep, you can feel more focused. Sleep can help you in remaining more alert throughout the day.
A good night’s sleep can make your everyday tasks easier and more manageable. A study showed that sleep helps the brain in solving even the difficult and complicated problems. During your shuteye, the brain processes complex stimuli and uses this information in making decisions as you are awake. Complex stimuli control your brain in learning to pay attention to the things that you need to focus on, even on difficult activities. The brain can quickly automate complex chores. It can make fast decisions and put them into actions immediately.
Sleep increases your brain’s ability to evaluate situations, pursue your goals, and make plans.
You spend a third of your life sleeping. It is vital to your health and wellbeing. Sleep consolidates your memory, decreases stress and depression, increases your ability, and enhances your focus. It also clears the brain from toxins that may be critical to your health in the long run.