Importance of Sleep

Advantages of Sleep

Having good quality sleeps are important for one’s daily activities. Being energetic is always a good way to start the day so read on and be amazed by the advantages of sleeps!

REM Sleep

There are different classification of sleeps. One of them is the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep which is dominant in late sleep. It boosts memory relating to emotional events as compared to neutral texts. It is suspected to be imperative in helping one learn how to execute tasks and hone one’s decision-making skills.

Enhancing Memories

Research have revealed that sleeps aid in crystallising information and recent encounters which culminate into memories. Information obtained may not be assimilated by the brain instantly, but rather, processed by the brain during sleeps. Dreaming in sleeps may also be deemed as removing certain memories.

Zif-268, a gene which helps to enhance nervous communication, is switched on when brain cells process information during sleeps. In a research conducted by Rockefeller University, two groups of rats were subjected to two different environments – one in a new environment with toys available, the other in their normal home cages. Both groups underwent slow wave and REM sleep.

The results illustrated that Zif-268 was switched off in both groups of rats during slow sleep, and the gene was only switched on in the group of rats living in the enriched environment during REM sleep.

Promoting Plasticity

Good quality sleeps boost brain development in young mammals. While brain connections are essential in one’s early growing stages, other important neural developments may occur later in life. In fact, certain higher areas of the brain only cease development when mental deterioration sets in.

In an experiment where cats were subjected to a change in their environment and allowed to sleep, they had twice the amount of brain change as compared to cats kept awake instead.

It is believed that sleeps contributes to plasticity, which refers to the connections between nerve cells. A direct relationship exists between deep sleep and plasticity. The higher the amount of deep sleep, the higher the plasticity. Deep sleep first occurs when one sleeps and it makes up half the sleeping time in adolescent mammals. This is when the brain restructures to a configuration that best fits the needs of the adult. Large slow brain waves are also emitted during deep sleep.

Effective Study Strategies

Have you ever wondered why your classmate who sleeps before examinations perform on par with you if not better, despite you burning the midnight oil away?

The reason is simple. Sleeps, when sufficient, improve the plasticity level. As such, sleeps, in particular REM sleep, play a significant role in consolidating one’s memory and hence learning. A deprivation of sleeps affect the ability to learn and remember things effectively.

Booster Nap

There is no harm in giving yourself a booster nap amongst your busy schedule. Sleeps may disrupted by disorders during one’s sleeping time, affecting the quality of sleeps, and diminishes one’s mental performance. Naps help to compensate for the lack of sleeps, since efficiency, vigilance level and one’s self-confidence are elevated thereafter.