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The effect of sleep on memory

The effect of sleep on memory

The effects of sleep on the body are myriad. The amount of sleep you get has a bearing on how you feel and how healthy you are, but it can also make a big difference to your memory too.

It is well documented that sleep plays a major role in allowing memories to embed themselves in one’s consciousness. What is less certain is how exactly it allows memories to become secured in the mind. One enduring theory is that our dreams allow us to recap the events of the day which gives the brain more time to process exactly what happened and consolidate memories more effectively. Another possibility is that allowing your body ample time to recharge can give the brain the perfect chance to get itself in order. Therefore, the more rest that you get, the more focussed and organised your thoughts will be, and the more likely you are to recall events clearly and strengthen your memory over time.

Memories

There are a number of different types of memory. There are those which allow us to remember facts, those that allow us to remember incidents that have happened to us and those that enable us to remember skills such as driving a car. A lack of sleep will not only impair an individual’s ability to remember things they have done throughout the day, but it will also inhibit the way in which fact and skill-based memories form in the mind.

This means that those failing to get enough shut-eye will often struggle to recall interesting and formative life events, and they may also find their intelligence and certain skills are seriously affected. Since our past experiences inform so much of who we are, this means that personality can also be altered by the likes of insomnia.

Studies have shown that even after one single night of poor rest, memory and performance can be compromised. It has also been shown that those struggling to get the right amount of sleep are more likely to believe themselves right about a fact when in reality they are wrong.

The best medicine

Brain and memory training are big business today, with millions of people across the world using software and games to try and boost their cognitive functions. While this approach may indeed help, quality rest will almost always be the best medicine.

Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night is crucial for anyone who wishes to feel mentally alert, and remember vital information or simple facts about their own life.

For those who struggle to doze off once bedtime does come around, there are plenty of ways to remedy the issue. From avoiding caffeine and taking the time to actually relax in the hours running up to bedtime, there will be many different options that will help improve one’s chances of getting healthy, quality sleep. Here at Adjustable Beds Ltd, we are well aware of the important role that restful slumber plays in keeping us happy, healthy and focused, and those looking to improve their memory will find that the right bed alone could make a huge difference.

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