Dr Robert Stickgold (Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University) states “Most people think when you go to sleep the brain shuts off and then you wake up and go to work… but nothing can be further from the truth…sleep is important before learning and after [learning]”.
His research shows us how crucial it is to get 8 hours of regular sleep every night. If your brain is too tired you can’t take in information very well for several reasons. Firstly, the brains memory circuits become fatigued and secondly, you struggle to pay attention when you’re sleep deprived.
Stickgold has also found that the brain appears to do a lot when you’re asleep (e.g. connections in the brain are strengthened and memories are shuffled around the brain).
What else is the latest research in sleep medicine telling us?
Can short power naps help us?
Apparently so. Dr Stephen Amira (Behavioural sleep specialist) states that taking a nap for 20 minutes of less before 5pm can be beneficial and help us feel more energised.
In a nutshell, you’re ability to think clearly, be happy and understand what’s going on depends on you getting enough sleep. If you want to find out more about the science of sleep, you can check out some great videos (featuring experts from Harvard University) here.