About Time: You Discovered Why Sleep is So ImportantBy Angelica Malin
Getting enough sleep is a fundamental way that we can all ensure our health and lives in general are on the right track. Making sure the bed we sleep in is comfortable, getting the right mattress that is the right size (a bed size chart for buying mattresses is an essential tool) and the right firmness for you is the first step. After that, you need to make sure you get around eight hours or so a night – it may be hard to go to bed earlier at first, but it is certainly worth it.
Memory & Learning
When you sleep, you mind does something called consolidation. This is the process of collating all the new things learned that day and moving them into your long-term memory areas of the brain. It’s an incredible thing, and when you wake up after a good night’s sleep, you should find that you are able to recall things much more easily. This works only if the brain has time to do its filing and then rest afterwards, which is why eight hours a night is a good amount of time to attempt.
Exactly the right amount of sleep does, studies suggest, offer you a greater change of living longer. Too much sleep or too little affects the lifespan, making it shorter. It could be that lack of sleep, or sleeping too much is actually an effect coming from another, life shortening illness, and studies are still ongoing.
A good night’s sleep also allows you to have a better quality of life while you’re awake. You won’t feel so tired, and you’ll be much more alert, able to notice what is going on around you.
Many people – particularly as they get older – find that they suffer from various forms of inflammation. This condition is often linked to strokes, diabetes, heart disease, premature aging, and arthritis. People who sleep for fewer than six hours a night have been shown to have much higher levels of inflammatory proteins in their blood. And, sleeping for longer meant that those proteins were reduced, thus also reducing the chances of stroke, heart attack, and more problems linked to inflammation.
A well-rested (and that means the right amount of sleep on the right size bed with the right type of mattress) worker is a productive worker, and a productive worker is good for business. But being productive is also good for the worker themselves giving them a sense of pride in their work and making them happier in general.
Sleep also works well when there are deadlines looming. Although it may seem counter-intuitive to suggest that those who don’t have much time to get work done go for a nap instead of continuing the work, this rest time actually gives the brain time to ‘reset’. This means that although the deadline is closer when they wake up, they are much more capable of getting the work done quickly and at a better quality.