#2 Sleep to Remember

The Travelling Companions, 1862 by Augustus Leopold Egg

One of the highlights of my life recently has been ‘sleep’. Sleeping on time leads to waking up on time and sleeping late leads to waking up late. I’ve realised is that – every human being needs 8 hours of sleep even if you don’t want it. 

Early birds or Night owls – everyone needs to sleep, those who work till late at night payback by sleeping during the daytime and the others sleep during nights (the normal people) and work during the daytime. There is no escaping sleep.

Side note – This week, my sleeping routine thrived as it had never before, I slept at 10 or 11 pm and wake up at 6 am! And it was great! There’s a research paper called Sleep to Remember which talks about how a healthy sleep cycle has positive impacts on your learning and memory power.

I have realised that sleeping to your stumbling blocks is an effective technique, the next day you wake up with a fresh attitude and a new state of mind to tackle it. The basic explanation for this is that when we’re asleep, there’s a loss of consciousness. This gives time to the newly encoded information to get absorbed in our long term memory. If you need to learn something properly, sleep is an essential factor (otherwise you’re cramming it for short term use).

“Sleep has been identified as a state that optimizes the consolidation of newly acquired information in memory. There is also evidence that sleep after learning can provide a qualitative change to memories. Learning-activated engram neurons play a critical role in memory recall and selective sleep-associated reactivation of learning-activated sensory populations serves as a necessary instructive mechanism for memory consolidation.”

Apart from brainpower, I’ve also observed that poor sleep quality leads to me waking up in a bad mood. And to avoid anger and mood disturbances I need to have a proper sleep pattern. Avoiding sleeping does add some extra hours for work but it takes away the quality and causes many serious health problems if it becomes a regular thing. Sleep runs in a circle, you just need to make the effort of joining the circle and it becomes normal and once you’re off the circle, it starts going anti-clockwise.

The one key takeaway from this issue is to remember to sleep and sleep to remember. Sleep, Learning and Memory are correlated and important for a healthy and productive life. Don’t play with your sleep.