Be aware of the importance of sleep on your brain

As a teenager I was a perfectionist. I studied till late in the night and allowed myself to sleep just a few hours. I thought sleep was a waste of my valuable study time. I didn’t know better at that time and had to experience the effects of not having enough sleep myself . One day I had to do a test and I was so tired I could barely focus and remember what I had learned. My professor recommended to go home and sleep and suggested the knowledge would all come back after a good nights rest.  And it did. I learned that day that my brain needs sleep if I want it to function properly.

Even now as an entrepreneur, it is often hard to call it a day, mostly because I want to do so much more. Than I remember myself what my sleep does.

How does sleep affect your brain?

  1. Sleep consolidates your memories. There is a lot of research going on in this area. As sleep, memory is largely a mystery to scientists, they are convinced that the quantity and quality of sleep affects a person’s ability to remember.  You probably have experienced this for yourself. How do you perform on the job when you are tired or didn’t get enough sleep? Does this effect your memory?
  2. Sleep eliminates toxins. Every evening, before bedtime I turn on the dishwasher and I have to think about Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, a sleep research pioneer and professor of neurosurgery at the University of Rochester. He explains: “Sleep is like a dishwasher for the brain, when we sleep, our brains are pumped with cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid washes away waste proteins (such as beta amyloids) that was build during the time we spend awake.” This thought alone does me jump into bed early. Let’s get rid of all this waste during the night.
  3. Sleep stimulates creative problem solving. Have you ever heard the sentence “sleep on it.” Or have you ever experienced having troubles solving a part of the puzzle, task or problem and you have a good nights rest, and as of magic you know the answer the next day? A study done by European scientists showed that the right side of the brain is more active after rest. The boost of the brain’s right side happens during slow-wave sleep or deep sleep because of the restructuring of memory. This synthesis of fresh information causes creative insights when you wake up.
  4. Sleep helps our brain regulate mood. Always interesting to know that we will respond differently to a situation when we are tired. Have you experienced this ?

So next time you are doubting to watch extra series on television, think twice.

Remember all the amazing things that are happening in your brain while you are a sleep.

If you have a hard time falling asleep or want to improve your sleep quality? Check out our 5-day challenge.

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