Sleep + Brain Health: Slow Down to Speed Up
By Dan Garner
Admittedly, I lose sleep at times due to working on too many projects and/or athletes at once. Although it may seem like you're "in the grind" getting stuff done; the long-term impact this has on your brain will contribute much more to slowing you down rather than helping you get ahead of your competition.
Sleep plays a critical role in brain health, as it helps to consolidate memories, restore cognitive function, and clear metabolic waste products from the brain. Here's what you need to know about the relationship between sleep and brain health:
1. Memory Consolidation
During sleep, the brain processes and consolidates memories from the day before, strengthening neural connections and allowing us to better retain information.
2. Cognitive Function
Adequate sleep is important for maintaining cognitive function, including attention, working memory, and executive function.
3. Brain Plasticity
Sleep is also important for promoting brain plasticity, which is the ability of the brain to change and adapt in response to new experiences and learning.
4. Clearance of Metabolic Waste
During sleep, the glymphatic system in the brain clears out metabolic waste products, including amyloid-beta protein, which is associated with Alzheimer's disease.
5. Mood Regulation
Sleep also plays an important role in regulating mood, and sleep disturbances are common in individuals with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Overall, adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining optimal brain health and function. Adults generally require 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and this should be placed as high of a priority as anything else in your life.