Sleep Is Good

Sleeping kitty

 

Now there’s a newsflash, right? Hang on, here’s a new study to confirm it, which we need because (as the article notes), many of us have become arrogant about sleep. It’s a thing to announce proudly how you need less sleep than a normal person cuz you are just so rad evolved.

I confess I’ve done this.

But it’s a delusion (probably a sleep-deprived one). Eventually you are forced to acknowlege biology. Oh, biology! So pesky!

You do better, in all ways, when you get the right amount of sleep. Maybe it’s 8 hours, or 9 or 7, but it isn’t 4. When I was younger, nothing interfered with my sleep, and I usually need 6-7 hours. But within the last 5 years I’ve noticed that stress messes with my sleep in a significant way. This is new. And annoying. For a while, I thought it didn’t matter. Look at me ~ I’m so awesome I don’t need to sleep, wheeeeee! /crash/

This week, I’m unstressed and have “caught up” on sleep. I feel much better and have been writing a lot more, too. I’ve even gone to the gym on schedule.  I am certain that my memory has improved, just as the study says. Apparently, toxins are washed away during sleep (brain toxins? gross) and new synapses form.

And by disrupting specific phases of sleep, the research group showed deep or slow-wave sleep was necessary for memory formation.

During this stage, the brain was “replaying” the activity from earlier in the day.

Prof Wen-Biao Gan, from New York University, told the BBC: “Finding out sleep promotes new connections between neurons is new, nobody knew this before.

Cool. I need a lot of accessible memory to write the way I want to, which lately is a hybrid sort of stream of consciousness poetic fiction. Don’t worry, I clean that up and make it readable.

On the other hand, too much sleep can trigger a migraine…

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8 responses to “Sleep Is Good

  1. and by a sleep to say we end The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks That Flesh is heir to?

    I would love love love to get a good night’s sleep. Actual sleep. Uninterrupted, deep, restful sleep. These days it’s hot flashes and discomfort (pain in various muscles and joints) that interrupts my slumber. When I naturally cycle to lighter sleep, either I start to roast, or I find myself in a state of discomfort and so I waken more completely. If I’m also under stress, I’ll pile fretting on the heap of sleep interruptors. Alas.

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  2. This makes sense. Seems like the very definition of wakefulness is the making of those connections moment by moment. Probably important no matter what we’re doing, but especiallky writing. Anyway, I don’t get enough sleep–I thought I would be able to when I retired, but it’s always some damn thing. But, I wanted to say, the chiropractic thing helps because when I lay down I am actually comfortable.

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  3. Sleep is important and, thankfully, not as fleeting as it was during the early days of post-meno. But the Cat is messing with me at 4am. Precisely then and only then, I wish to kick her outside.

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  4. Gekko ~ yes, I have the hotness problem too (lol). Generally the flashes are quick and mild during the day, but they grab on more at night and last for a while. I’m used to waking up several times, either because of a flash, or a neckache, or a bad dream, or a yowlfest. However if I’m not all stressed, I can usually get back to sleep and feel rested in the morning.

    Roy ~ yeah, if only I could write some brilliant thing in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, but nope.

    Hipster ~Gatsby can be a pain, but if I pat the bed he’ll usually come cuddle and shut up.

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    • Zelda won’t do cuddling, so if I get up and open our bathroom window, she will crawl up in there and watch the sun rise while I grab a little more shut eye. Today is the last day of school, so I hope for an extra hour of sleep until late August. Stress does mess with good sleep, so finding your magic stress reliever should help.

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  5. To sleep, perchance to dream! Believe it or not, my sleep improved after I followed some tips I found on some lifehacker website. (It may have been Lifehacker.com, cuz you know I love me some Gawker media).

    The best tip I’ve followed to avoid being sleepy and draggy in the morning is the 90-minute sleep cycle. The average sleep cycle is 90 minutes, so if you want to wake up at 6am, go to bed at 10:30 or midnight. You wake up more refreshed if it’s at the end of your sleep cycle. It worked for me.

    A really dark bedroom helps, too.

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  6. It’s noon on a Thursday. Your blog is making me sleepy.

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