How does sleep affect your body?
Sleep impacts almost every tissue in your body, meaning when these tissues aren’t given the opportunity to repair overnight, the affects can be widespread.
Typically, a lack of sleep can affect:
- Concentration and thinking
- Sex drive
- Immune system
How does sleep affect your brain?
Studies show that memory preservation, as well as the discarding of irrelevant information, occurs during the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) stages of sleep.
This means that insufficient sleep alters this processing and affects the performance of our brain.
A healthy night’s sleep consists of four sleep cycles- the first two are light NREM sleep, while the third is deep NREM sleep. These three cycles prepare our brain to learn new information the next day, as well as filtering information from the day we’ve just had.
The fourth cycle is deep NREM sleep which sorts through our emotional memories and improves our coping mechanisms.
When these cycles are disrupted, it can lower our ability to learn and think by as much as 40 per cent, greatly reducing our capacity to function optimally the next day.
A big contributor to getting your brain ready for sleep is creating an ideal sleeping environment, which means it might be time for a bedroom makeover – think new sheets, pillows, quilt covers, and even furniture to reduce clutter and keep things organised.
But when it comes to getting a good night's sleep and improving brain performance, you can’t look past a quality mattress, because it’s estimated we spend more than 25 years of our lives sleeping.