Expert Dr Lynda Shaw gives us the low-down
A busy lifestyle and consistent sleep shortage is known to affect blood flow to the brain even causing brain cells to lack necessary oxygen which can contribute to sending our memory into serious decline. Prioritising shut-eye (where possible) can really help to prevent those senior moments!
Quietens the mind
The brain of someone suffering with chronic insomnia is like someone who is always switched on and ‘wired’. Compared to good sleepers, neurons have been found to be more ‘excitable’. This evidently explains why sufferers struggle with sleep because their brain is constantly active. Some of us are able to train our brains to let us sleep, so talk to your GP to see about the various things you can do to help yourself including hypnotherapy.
Some studies suggest as much as 33 per cent of us don’t get as much sleep as we need. Our hormones can be affected by lack of sleep and it is thought that there is a decrease in a hormone which causes satiety and an increase in a hormone which causes hunger as a result of sleep deprivation. Be aware that almost certainly when we are tired we can trick ourselves into thinking we need to fuel ourselves with more food to get through the day, and if you're lacking will power, make sure you're having plenty of early nights to help.
Studies have shown that those who are well rested are more effective when it comes to learning or problem-solving. Sleep offers time for the brain to rest with fewer distractions and new things to respond to, with renewed energy helping to process and consolidate information more efficiently.
Lack of sleep prevents the mind and body from functioning well throughout the day and can be particularly dangerous for those who are driving. Sleep deficiency has been known to impair driving ability with similar responses to those who have had too much to drink.
Preserve Emotional Memory
Studies have found that sleep helps us to preserve our greatest memories and downgrade those that are of lesser importance. Without sufficient sleep, our brains can almost certainly find it more difficult to distinguish between the two.
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