Sleepless night and memory problems

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We spend about 20 years sleeping during our entire life. A fast, exhausting lifestyle is increasingly leading to sleep disorders. More and more people complain of various types of sleep problems or sleep deficit caused by too many responsibilities, poor organization of time, unfavorable environmental conditions. No wonder that sleep has been the subject of the deliberations of scientists around the world for many years. To this day, many aspects of sleep remain shrouded in mystery. What is certain is that sleep deprivation leads to problems with concentration and memory that can significantly hinder everyday functioning. Find out how to deal with these problems and why you should not forget about sleep.

Can you get enough sleep?

Scientists' opinions on this issue are divided.Most say it is impossible. Dr. Marta Koton-Czarnecka in response to the monthly "Focus" explains it in a quite illustrative way: “We cannot throw away the rubbish in advance. It is the same with sleep. We sleep in a certain daily cycle, and the primary function of sleep is to regenerate the body". Dr. Aleksandra Wierzbicka from the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurobiology in Warsaw shares a similar opinion, in an interview for radio Jedynka she explains: "Sleep is to fix what has been lost, not to recharge what is lost ”.

In turn, Tracy Rupp from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research argues that it is possible to get enough sleep before the upcoming, tiring task. According to her research, people who store sleep cope better with its temporary lack and regeneration of the body. It is not yet known how and where the extra sleep is stored. Currently, Rupp's team does not know how many hours of oversized sleep are needed to keep the body working at full capacity in an emergency.

The effects of sleep deprivation

Scientists agree on one thing: sleep, or the lack of it, affects memory and cognition. Professor Elio Lugaresi, a neurologist at the Universita di Bologna who studies sleep disorders on a daily basis, confirms that sleep strengthens memory. At the same time, it sensitizes that it is still unknown which phase of sleep is responsible for this ability. During sleep, memories are consolidated in the brain. Some information is recorded, some is forgotten. Interference with this process can lead to serious memory problems. Moreover, sleep deprivation lowers immunity and promotes obesity. After 30 days of sleeplessness, a person would die of sepsis from a complete collapse of the immune system. Achieving such a result, however, is impossible - the current record holder withstood “only” 11 days without sleep, and after the fourth day he began to suffer from hallucinations! Moreover, Dr. Daria Pracka warns that insomnia and intoxication are the main causes of accidents! Sleep deprivation is also used as one of the most severe tortures and wreaks havoc on the body.

The effects of excess sleep

When taking care of sleep hygiene, do not go overboard. Excess sleep, like sleep deficiency, is bad. Too long sleep, as well as too short, disturbs the circadian rhythm of life. It can cause blood pressure problems, increase the risk of diabetes, migraines, depression, and back pain. Interestingly, researchers at the University of Binghamton have shown a link between going to bed late and feeling unwell. Dr. Jacob Nota and Dr. Meredith Coles found that those who later went to bed complained more often about depression and problems with deteriorating mood. Not only is the time of falling asleep important, but also regularity of sleep. Currently, over 40 percent of Poles complain of sleeping problems. Therefore, it is worth developing the habit of going to sleep regularly, and not just providing the body with enough rest.

Precious naps

The ancients melted over the qualities of taking a short nap during the day. In many cultures there is a custom of a regenerating siesta. Interestingly, the beneficial effect of naps on the body is also confirmed by scientific research. Researchers from Harvard University have shown that a one-hour nap during the day has a positive effect on the ability to learn and remember new things. Dr. Aleksandra Wierzbicka, already quoted, sees short naps as an opportunity to pay off the debt we incur on a daily basis. The specialist warns, however, that the siesta should not last too long: "If it lasts an hour or more, it will disturb your nighttime sleep, and secondly, it is very difficult to wake up from such a nap. - On the other hand, a short nap, up to half an hour, is a shallow sleep, from which it is easy to wake up, and it will improve our well-being.Employers also notice the positive aspects of short dreams during the day. There are already experiments in allowing employees to take naps at work, some employers go even further and organize special rooms where a tired employee can regenerate his strength. Of course, you shouldn't go overboard in this case as well - a nap is not a substitute for sleep. It will only allow you to increase the effectiveness of night rest.