Sleep: Nature's #1 Nootropic!
It’s no secret that today’s society devalues the importance of sleep. Student’s pull all-nighters and entrepreneurs fall into ‘lack of sleep as a badge of honor’ trap. “Work hard, play hard”, “Sleep is for those who are broke”, and “You’ll sleep when you’re dead”, are well known expressions. Mix in some ‘FOMO’ and we’ve become a society that doesn’t have a proper relationship with sleep. During your sleep cycle, memories acquired throughout the day are stored and consolidated from short term to long term memory. It plays a huge role in how your brain processes and stores memory, so let’s get down to it.
How can poor sleep habits affect memory and cognition?
We’ve known for some time that sleep is important for restoring specific functions in the brain linked to memory, regulating emotions, and decision-making. Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, and narrowed blood vessels. These conditions can lead to decreased blood flow in the brain, which can lead to more complicated neurological diseases.
New research is uncovering a cleaning process in which your brain undergoes through during sleep. The flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically during sleep, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours. Beta amyloids are proteins that build up to form sticky plaques in the brain, linked to a decline in memory, and increase risk of dementia. These build ups have been found in higher concentration in subjects that were sleep deprived. This discovery could explain the association between sleep disorders and brain/neurological diseases. Keep in mind that there is likely new information to uncover about the effects of sleep deprivation. This is why at Nooflux we tell everyone sleep is the #1 nootropic in the world which no food, exercise, or supplement can compensate for.
How to can I maintain good sleeping habits?
A typical adult needs 6-8 hours of healthy routine sleep. Find the amount of sleep that allows you wake up naturally and feel in tune with your circadian rhythm. Studies have found that too much sleep can often lead to poor sleep quality, so find your sweet spot. Popular devices such as FitBit or Apple Watch and applications like Sleep Cycle or Rested can help track your sleep.
7 Strategies to maintain good sleeping habit include:
(1) Maintain a regular sleep schedule and stick to it!
(2) Avoiding high sugar diet, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol 6 hours prior to sleep.
(3) Use a blue light filter for your electronic screens or just avoid them 2 hours prior to sleep.
(4) Creating a comforting and sleep friendly environment.
(5) Only use your bed for two things, sleep and lovemaking.
(6) Practice relaxation breathing. Use slow breaths, especially when you exhale.
(7) When possible, complete your most stressful tasks early on in the day.