It's your bedtime...


Have you ever wondered why you wake up from a nap not feeling rested?

 

Taking a nap is like rebooting your brain, BUT make sure you think about the length of your nap...

 

Here are some tips for healthy sleeping:

1. Abandon all-nighters! Foregoing sleep by trying to learn on the night before the exam reduces your ability to retain information by up to 40%. If possible, add a small time to sleep to keep the hippocampus refreshed and all set for the next session of learning.

2. Consider the 26-minute nap! A NASA study found that a 26 minute nap improved the performance and alertness of an individual by 34%-54% respectively.

3. Put your phone down! Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet. So, put your phone down and go to sleep.

4. Consider the benefits sleep has for your brain. Napping has been proven to improve creativity, help in making better decisions, and also improve sensory perceptions. university of California, San Diego did a research study on the effects of sleep on creativity and found that naps improve creativity when the nap includes REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.

5. Avoid long periods of time without sleeping. The record for the longest duration without sleep is 18 days and 21 hours. However, this isn't a record worth trying to beat. During their sleeplessness, the record holder reported paranoia, slurred speech, loss of memory, blurred vision, and hallucinations. The effect of loss of sleep is large! Research also shows that after a busy week little sleep, 3 glasses of alcohol would induce the same effects that 6 glasses of alcohol would. Lack of sleep can reduce the body's resistance by 50%.

6. Don't drive drowsy! According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sleep drivers are responsible for at least 1500 deaths every year and cause more than 100,000 accidents. This is because lack of sleep impairs concentration and awareness, dulls the senses, and prevents the driver from making precise decisions.

7. Don't let sleep control your weight! The less sleep you get the more  your genes contribute to how much you weigh. Likewise, the more you sleep the less your genes contribute to how much you weigh and the more control you have over your weight. In the long run, a reduced amount of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system, depression, high blood pressure, and weight gain.

Last Updated: 4/14/2014