I just skipped a college class to sleep in the morning and I don’t think I’ve felt this well in weeks. Before today, I’d been sleeping between 6-7 hours a day, even on weekends. Today, I remembered why that is a terrible idea.
When I lived in Canada, we had a Psychology class, and we devoted a whole month to study the importance of getting proper sleep. So here are some important reminders:
When you sleep your brain ‘reboots’ and discards extra info, so if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by life lately you may need more sleep.
While you sleep your brain stores important information, this is where new info turns into learnt info, into things you’ll know long-term. So if you’re having memory issues at work or school, you may need more sleep.
Sleep improves your mood, it helps your body produce more happy hormones and reduce stress, so if you’ve been feeling on edge lately you may need more sleep.
Teenagers have different schedules. Seriously, the way an adult feels at 9pm a teenager feels at 11pm, their body cycles are all moved several hours later, so they naturally feel like going to bed and waking up later. Even if they make themselves ‘go to bed earlier’ their body is not producing serotonin so they don’t get all the benefits from sleep.
You produce sleep debt, so if you’ve been sleeping 5 hours a day during the week, you’re dragging all those extra hours of rest you didn’t get and eventually your body will demand them during the weekend or making you skip your alarm. So, yeah, ‘catching up on sleep’ is a real thing.
Sleeping helps you keep a healthy weight, because if you don’t sleep your self-control areas of the brain kinda shut down and make you indulge, and your body tries to get the energy you’re missing through sugar and fatty foods. Not a god combo.
Sleep cycles are really a thing, and they are important since in each part of the cycle your brain and body go through a different and important process to help you keep going during the day. While you are sleeping is the time when your brain’s the most active.
So, please, my dudes, go to sleep earlier, give yourself a chance to be and feel better. I also recommend you try apps like SleepCycle which monitors your sleep, your sleep cycles, your sleep quality and what things help you sleep better or worse.
The finding – along with the discovery of the molecular process behind it – provides the first insight into how the clock regulates a physiological function. And while the research was conducted in mice, “the findings could point the way toward drugs that target receptors implicated in problems that people experience from shift work or jet lag,” says the study’s senior author, Charles Bourque, a professor in McGill’s Department of Neurology and scientist at the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program at the (RI-MUHC).