With the hustle and bustle of everyday life wherein multi-tasking has become our usual routine, we tend to get preoccupied neglecting rest and sleep.
When bugged with deadlines and workload, we push ourselves to the greatest extent and sacrifice our sleep.
Overnight work has become so prevalent, hence the popular lines “Team No Sleep” or “Sleep is for the weak.”
However, what most people don’t realize is that along with neglecting sleep, we also overlook the benefits that come with it – especially the memory.
Here are 5 things that show the interrelationship between the two:
1. Sleep Is Your Brain’s Replay and Save Button
Your hippocampus is the portion of your brain responsible for memory storage and processes memories as long-term when you sleep. But these memories are initially unstable. Hence, we have short-term memories which last only for an average of 30 seconds.
While memories are vulnerable to disappear because of other mental activities, sleeping could protect those memories and make them more resilient against disruptions.
2. The More You Sleep, the More Your Information Tank Goes Up
Contrary to popular belief that the body goes to complete rest during sleep, the brain remains highly active. Although new things cannot be learned during sleep alone, the brain allows you to memorize things that you’ve encountered during the day.
If you try to listen to the foreign language before you sleep, for instance, your brain stores that memory and consolidates as you get into deep sleep.
3. Sleep Is Not the Only Way out, but It Offers a Sweet Sanctuary
Studies have shown that people who underwent deep emotional stress tend to find solace in their sleep. While you sleep, your brain undergoes emotional memory processing wherein it places into proper context the things that you remember and stores them appropriately in your memory bank. Eventually, when you wake up, there would be less stressful emotional memories that would surface.
4. Sleep Can Make You Remember Memories You Thought You Forgot
When you sleep, your hippocampus triggers other parts of your brain to form the long-term memories initially. As this happens, the primary neurons that took part in the process when you first experienced the memory strengthen. If you think you already forgot the moment you saw your friend at an airport 5 years ago, then your hippocampus will remind you of that memory.
5. There Is a Thing Called False Memory
When you take note of your surroundings, you do not necessarily take into account absolutely everything in your external environment. Somehow, the brain fills in the gaps of those memories which were not entirely captured. The brain bases this information that “fills” the memories from what you generally think you know about the world.
This instance is where sleep comes very important. Sleeping allows your brain to focus on the actual perceptions and weed out the “additional” memories, allowing you to store what is essential. Instances of creating false memories are highly experienced by those who are sleep-deprived.
So the next time you attempt to cut your sleep short because you have something “more important” to do, think again. You may never know how much benefit you can gain from your brain when you sleep.
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