Sleep is perhaps the most often overlooked, yet most beneficial healthy habits. However, the amount and quality of sleep affects our day-to-day life in more ways than we realize.
In fact, sleep is one of the few things that we have control over that can impact how our day proceed. Not enough sleep, or even too much, could lead to adverse effects we might not even consider.
For instance, research has found that our brains tend to display more ADHD-like symptoms when running on a lack of sleep. This can lead to a shorter attention-span and a greater difficulty with remembering and retaining items throughout the day.
So, while a cup of coffee might help our brains function faster, a good night’s rest helps them function better.
On top of this, research shows a good night’s sleep helps with memory and learning. While we sleep, the brain is consolidating our thoughts by moving thoughts from short-term to long-term memory, or by simply reinforcing the connections in the brain.
Instead of cramming in work or studying through the night, it is better for you and your work to take a break and sleep it off.
Even further, stress levels are tied to the amount of sleep. When we’re running on fumes, it is harder for the brain to process issues that arise, and this can lead to a greater amount of stress. Whether it be due to a seemingly endless accumulation of issues, or an inability to solve what’s in front of us, a tired brain doesn’t process quickly or efficiently.
Sleep has a close tie-in with our emotional well-being as well. A tired mind already is not up to par with a well-rested one. It comes as no surprise then that when we’re tired our natural negativity bias is enhanced, we attach ourselves to negative occurrences and hold less positive outlooks on our interactions.
There are some myths as well about sleep. For instance, the idea that eight hours of sleep is essential to all people. This is merely an average, according to sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley. The eight hours mark is certainly beneficial, but it in no way is a golden number of any sort. Some of us might require slightly more, others slightly less. Ultimately it all comes down to our biological make-up.
Despite this, there are still clear advantages to being well-rested. A boost to productivity, memory, and a healthier outlook are only the beginnings.
Maybe next time you’re feeling stressed for a project and can’t seem to make any headway, a good night’s sleep could be the answer. Waking up refreshed and with a healthy brain can provide you with the motivation and insights needed to add the final touches.