Experts recommend that you get between seven and eight hours of sleep every night for several reasons. Good sleep boosts your immune system and regulates your hunger. However, it also benefits your brain. Here’s why you need sleep for ideal brain health.
Sleep Boosts Your Memory and Reasoning
You go through four stages when you sleep. Of these, slow wave sleep and rapid eye movement are most relevant to brain health. Those who sleep less than the recommended amount may not reach these stages. As a result, their creative powers wane. Furthermore, they see adverse effects in their long-term memory, and ability to process information.
Sleeping immediately after learning something new helps your brain to retain the information. As a result, sleep enhances your memory. Furthermore, good sleep primes your brain for receiving information, meaning it stores it more effectively.
Sleep deprivation also affects your recall. This may lead to poor decision-making, often due to your inability to interpret past events accurately.
Sleep Improves Concentration
Fatigue affects your ability to focus on the task at hand. Your mind wanders more, which makes you less productive at work. This could lead to performance issues that place your entire livelihood at risk.
A recent study of a group of medical interns shows this in action. Interns were split into two groups. The first group worked the “traditional” intern schedule, while the second group got more sleep.
Those in the first group made over 30% more medical errors than those who were allowed to sleep more.
Other studies have determined that sleep deprivation affects your brain in a similar way to drinking too much alcohol.
You need good sleep for ideal brain health. Without it, your memory doesn’t function as well, and you struggle to concentrate. Think of sleep as your way of recharging your brain, ready for the next day.