You need adequate sleep each night even though your brain actually doesn’t sleep. It is constantly working even when you sleep! We tend to try and get every little bit of benefit out of every waking moment. Too many of us would probably just skip sleep altogether and work around the clock to boost our productivity! But you have to understand that sleep is not just dead time – it is very productive.
The different organs and systems in your body are restored and repaired during sleep. So that means when you miss sleep, organs or systems that should have had restoration and repair time, didn’t. If that happens often enough, it will impact your health. That includes your brain. It uses your sleep time to do brain detox by flushing out toxins and waste products and facilitating restoration.
According to study researcher Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., the co-director of the University of Rochester’s Center for Translational Neuromedicine:
“The brain only has limited energy at its disposal and it appears that it must [choose] between two different functional states — awake and aware or asleep and cleaning up… You can think of it like having a house party. You can either entertain the guests or clean up the house, but you can’t really do both at the same time.”
Besides repairing and growing new brain cells, during sleep you consolidate and strengthen the memory of what you learned as well as boosting your brain’s power and ability to learn. It also helps you manage emotions more effectively. Have you ever noticed that when you don’t get enough sleep you tend to fly off the handle more easily, you over-react to things more and just feel more emotional?
Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and research published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging suggests that people with chronic sleep problems may develop Alzheimer’s disease sooner than those who sleep well.
I hope this convinces you of the importance and benefits of sleeping well. That’s why it is one of my core 3-D Living Program keys.
How much sleep do you get each night?
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