Have you ever believed you couldn’t be productive on something because you didn’t get enough sleep? The fact is, you’re probably right. The key decision maker, our brain, uses the energy we gain at night while we’re asleep in order to function at its best capacity during the times we are awake. However, contrary to popular belief, our brains don’t really “shut down” for the night;they are more active than you think. When we’re sleeping, the brain is processing and preparing us for the next time we are actively awake. Besides allowing you to rest and gain more energy, here are 5 other ways that an adequate amount of sleep can benefit your brain:
- Mood booster: There’s a reason you feel good after you wake up from a good night’s rest. Without the right amount of sleep, you may feel more stressed and anxious than you would with a decent amount of sleep.
- Improves decision making: Did you know that your brain makes decisions even when you’re asleep? A recent study found that our brains process information that helps us in decision-making when we’re awake. There’s a reason why you make less-than-confident decisions when you lack sleep!
- Improves memory: The right amount of sleep can increase your ability to recall information. Being well-rested helps improve your memory, so much that you become able to remember small details and tasks better. It even helps you solidify new information you learn, so that you don’t forget it.
- Improves focus: Studies have shown that the proper amount of sleep helps you focus better during the day by allowing you to be more alert and sharp. Sleeping also allows your brain to take in and learn new information more easily.
- Refreshes: What sleep does for the brain is like what you do whenever you hit the “refresh” button online. By sleeping, you’re giving the brain a chance to get rid of any damaging and toxic molecules that build up while you’re awake. These toxins can cause any sort of neurodegeneration; sleeping prevents that from happening.
The amount of time we have spent sleeping takes up almost a third of our lives. Sleep is just as essential as the food we eat to give our body nutrients, so it’s important to get a solid 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day.