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…