09 Dec What happens when we sleep?
When we sleep, the neurons that are being used during the day shut down for repair and renewal. When deprived of adequate sleep, our neurons are working overtime and do not get properly repaired or renewed. Thus, they will not functioning optimally.
Now, depending on which part of the brain we are referring to, there will be negative effects. For instance, the part of the brain that controls emotions, decision-making and social interactions slows down dramatically during deep sleep which implies, that with good sleep, when we wake up, these brain functions will be renewed. Now imagine if you are sleep deprived? What kinds of decisions regarding your social or emotional life might be made?
In addition, certain things you learn during the day are reinforced at night. So when you get a good night’s sleep you are establishing those neural networks you learned in the classroom, on the sports field and during your video game session. 80% of encoding in your brain (encoding is when you process and store information) happens during sleep. Not enough sleep and you jeopardize (meaning, put at risk) forming the connections needed to learn a new task.
When you learn a new fact at school or a new move in sports, your brain processes it and makes it stick during the sleep stages. If your sleep is impaired, you won’t be able to make those connections as strong as you would be able on a full night’s sleep. Your memory is impaired as well as your learning potential. It’s as if all that time that you put into school isn’t going to reach its potential unless you get the sleep that you require.
The recommended hours of sleep each night are based on research that demonstrates the optimal amount needed to refresh your brain and body. Any less sleep and your mind suffers cognitive impairment—which means you just don’t think as well. When you stay up all night, you know the next day that you are sleep deprived and not thinking as well as you normally do. But, even if you just miss two hours of sleep, your mind is not functioning as well as it should be.
DID YOU KNOW? A study on rats showed that when they slept, they retraced the patterns of the maze they were in all day. Scientists now believe that sleep is what solidifies information learned during the day, which means, cramming all night to do well on a test is not the answer. The answer is a good night’s sleep after careful review.
To learn about all the negative consequences of sleep deprivation, read on…
Have you ever pulled an all night-er? if so, how did you feel the next day?
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