Will a good night’s sleep make you smarter? During waking hours the brain is absorbing new information. In order to add the freshly acquired information to the long-term memory banks in the brain, the body needs to sleep.
The first phase of the sleep cycle is a deep sleep where the brain moves the daily info from the short-term memory center to the long-term memory storage area. During the second phase, the information is organized and filed in the virtual file cabinets. If this phase is disturbed, it will be more difficult for a person to remember what was learned during the day. The third phase of the cycle is the dreaming or Rapid Eye Movement sleep pattern where the brain reviews the stored information.
To harness the power of the brain, the body needs an average of eight hours of sleep. Some people function well on slightly more or less sleep, each person’s internal clock is different.
Below are basic strategies for a good night’s sleep.
- Avoid caffeine in the evening.
- Don’t overeat or go to bed hungry.
- Be consistent in the time you go to bed at night and get up in the morning. This will develop a sound sleep-wake cycle.
- Use room darkening blinds and a white noise sound machine.
- Participate in regular daily exercise. Don’t exercise late in the day; this can make you feel too energetic to go to sleep.
- Avoid worrying before sleep. Write yourself a note about any issues and then relax, you can deal with it the next day.
- Consult your doctor if your lack of sleep occurs frequently.
Remember that rest and relaxation are your best friends. One third of your life is spent sleeping so make bedtime a priority and impress your family with your brainpower.
Cindy Sue Blair is an Oasis Facilitator for Exerstart, Active Start and Active Living Every Day classes and a certified ACE Group Fitness Instructor. She is also a Culinary Instructor and Event Volunteer for Operation Food Search. She believes tasty, healthy food and fun exercise are keys to the good life. Her journey from couch potato to healthy living advocate unleashed her passion for fitness, nutrition, and personal growth. Stop by www.facebook.com/WellnessWithCindy and say hi!