Quality sleep is an important part of your daily routine and is as essential to survival as food and water. All of us spend around one-third of our time doing it without which it would be difficult to form or maintain the pathways in our brain that let us learn and create new memories. Without ample sleep, it’s harder to concentrate and respond quickly.
Sleep impacts our brain in many ways and is important to a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells (neurons) communicate with each other. Even while one is asleep, the brain and body stay remarkably active. All this is possible only if we get the right amount of sleep.
Recent findings have also suggested that sleep helps in removing toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake. And there are reasons as to why a good night’s sleep is essential for the health and right functioning of our brain.
Here’s how sleep impacts your brain
Aids efficient thought process
Lack of sleep can lead to a dense cloud of brain fog, causing you to make mistakes, and making it harder than usual to figure simple stuff out. Having quality sleep improves your alertness and attentiveness, enabling you to have a sharper thought process.
Helps to organise new information
The brain maintains some level of awareness even when your brain is fully engaged in sleep and can process complex information even while you are sleeping. A healthy brain can process all of the new information and even learn while you have the correct amount of sleep.
Helps your brain to cement memories
While you sleep, your brain consolidates the memories that you had formed throughout the day. It then links these new memories to older ones, making connections between different pieces of information to develop new ideas.
Studies show that with a night of restful sleep, your levels of completing tasks that require making creative connections in your brain are higher compared to people who hadn’t slept yet. The sleep cycle that involves dreaming is key to boosting creativity.
Sleep helps to clear out harmful toxins in the brain
When it comes to clearing out toxins, one thing that actually has been shown to work is sleep. Your brain is busy sending out growth hormones, consolidating memories, and forming creativity-boosting connections, it’s also busting out the vacuum to suck up any unwanted dirt and clear it away. During sleep, the space between the brain cells expands, allowing the brain to sweep away harmful molecules, the ones that are also associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Sleep helps the brain re-organize itself, essentially. Brain tasks that occur during sleep include disposing of toxins that build up in the brain during the day and stabilizing memories of the day’s events. Getting enough sleep is also linked to higher levels of cognitive performance, creativity, and improved moods.