Lost your car keys? Forgotten an appointment? Can’t remember if you turned off the iron? If you are having trouble with your memory, it may be adversely affecting your life and your sleep habits may be to blame.
Sleep plays a vital role when it comes to thinking and learning. Poor quality or lack of sleep impairs the body’s responsiveness. The body’s ability to concentrate and problem solve are weakened, and the capacity for attention and reasoning is diminished, resulting in an increased difficulty of effective learning. In conjunction with this impaired cognitive function, the sleep cycles humans experience each night are responsible for ‘cementing’ memories in the mind. Deep sleep cycles are responsible for the consolidation and transmission of information. Failure to reach these cycles lowers the brain’s ability to retain both short and long term information, leading not only to irritability and fatigue, but to forgetfulness and a reduced capacity for learning.
An independent UK study supports the benefits of sleep, linking good sleep and improved memory performance to happiness and a better quality of life. With increasingly hectic lives and the pressure of day to day living, many people are struggling to get the recommended minimum night’s sleep. An Australian Sleep Health Foundation survey found 18 per cent of adults regularly sleep less than six hours per night. These detrimental effects of poor sleep flow through daily life and into the work place, with employees struggling with concentration in their working life.
So how to minimise the profound effect lack of sleep has on everyday memory and wellbeing? What about a quick nap to relax the body, improve your memory and lift your spirits.