We know we need to get enough high quality sleep every night, but how many times have you stopped for a moment and think what is going on while we sleep?
In fitness so many people talk about the benefits of sleep to help you lose weight and gain muscle but the benefits of sleep go far beyond that. While we´re sleeping our body is recovering and growing, but there´s a lot more going on especially in the brain.
During the day we go through a lot of situations, we need to pay attention to so many things going on. Sleep is one of those 4 principles of fitness that is so hard to study, and it´s so interesting. We can say that almost all animals sleep but why we need sleep is still a huge mystery.
During sleep our brain is supposed to be resting right? This is actually wrong, during sleep our brain is going through a lot of processes, there´s so much brain activity going on while we sleep. During this time our brain is processing all the information we got during day which are stored in the form of short-term memories, it takes all those experiences and information and test it, if the experience or information is relevant it stores it in another region of the brain so that we have access to it whenever we need it, long-term memory, if it´s not important it deletes all that information and experiences to make space for what´s going to come the next day.
This is why one of the best ways to learn something and actually remember it is to take the subject you´re studying, focus all your attention on it, whether it´s reading, writing, taking notes, or your favorite way to learn for about an hour or two and then take a nap. You´ll see you are able to remember a lot more just by focusing for a couple of hours and then resting than by spending hours and hours trying to learn something.
It also presents all with short stories, videos, or images that we call dreams, some experts that have been studying the brain think that our dreams help our brain make sense of all the experiences and information so that it can take it into pieces and put them together in a way that makes sense.
Our brain never rests and everything that´s going on our brain while we sleep is crucial for optimal health.
If we don´t get enough high quality sleep for just one night we can see the negative impact the next day, we are more forgetful, we´re not able to retain information, we need to read one sentence over and over, we can actually see that our brain is not as efficient as it should be, now just imagine what happens when this lack of sleep or poor sleep is chronic. Our Brain is never able to delete unimportant information, it can´t make all the cleaning and storage process and we just keep feeding it with more info until it´s a mess. Without adequate sleep our brain is not able to form and maintain the pathways that enables us to learn, think and concentrate.
For the brain to be able to go through all the process you need to make sure you´re going through all phases or stages of sleep for several cycles, plus you need to make sure it´s high quality. If you wake up and you feel tired it means you didn´t get high quality sleep even if you slept for 8 hours, you can get 6 hours of sleep and wake feeling energized and ready for the day, this means you get high quality sleep and your body and brain were able to go through all the processes to make sure you´re ready for the day to come.
Knowing that our brain is always working even when we´re sleeping can be a motivation to get enough quality sleep every night, knowing that if we want to learn faster and be able to concentrate and be more productive throughout the day we need sleep.
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