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Brain activity can accelerate

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Sleeping shows clear brain wave patterns associate with different stages of sleep, and when you reach REM sleep, your brain activity can actually accelerate. This heightened activity shows markedly different types of brain waves, and is associated with lucid dream (more on those later!).

Helps you to be happier

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Everyone knows that poor sleep can make you moody and irritable, and, conversely, a good night’s sleep can help make you happier and more positive. Sleep helps the brain to regular mood and sets us up perfectly to be able to deal with whatever the next day brings.

Enables greater cognitive abilities

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One of the most fascinating things about how our brain works during sleep is that deep sleep has been shown to enable greater cognitive abilities. This includes things like memory consolidation, which can benefit you in your waking life as it boosts brain function.

Retains important information

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Because of the fact that the chemical acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) spikes during waking hours, and is also strong during REM sleep, it’s believed that studying just before bedtime and then sleeping can actually help you to remember something better.

You dream

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Dreams are said to be windows to our subconscious, and they are most prevalent during the deep-sleep state (REM). Though dreams can also happen in non-REM sleep, they tend to be much more vivid, lucid, and immersive when you are in the deeper stages of sleep.

It takes a bath

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We all know the benefits of clambering into a nice hot bath for a soak before bedtime. What you might not know is that your brain actually takes a bath when you sleep as well. It washes itself in a blend of cerebrospinal fluid and blood, an essential wash cycle for improving cognitive function.

Your brain gets rest

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People who experience insomnia will often find that they have too much brain activity. This is a problem because of the fact that it can impact your ability to rest, as well as causing irritability and exacerbating mental health issues. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for resting your brain.

Brain activity continues

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Despite what we often used to think, it has been discovered that brain activity actually continues during sleep. There are so many things we don’t yet know about how the brain functions, and the kind of activity to expect during sleep. One thing is for sure, this activity is essential for developing physical and mental well-being.

You could experience hypersomnia

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Whilst insomnia is the process of not getting enough sleep, hypersomnia refers to the condition that is defined by too much sleep. When this happens, it can have a negative impact on your sleep quality, and, as such, you may wind up actually feeling more tired and exhausted as a result.

Your brain experiences four stages of sleep

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Sleep studies have shown that the brain experiences four different stages of sleep, with stage one being the lightest, then stage two, with stage three being the most common (and restful!) stage. The fourth and final stage is REM sleep, where the likelihood of dreaming is at its highest.

Your circadian rhythm is set

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There are two types of processes that can help to regulate sleep: sleep drive and circadian rhythm. This is controlled by the biological clock that is located in the brain. When you are asleep, your circadian rhythm is set and attains balance in the brain, helping you to feel rested and fulfilled.

Your brain reorganizes itself

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Sleep is the perfect opportunity for the brain to be able to reorganize itself, which comes with a whole host of benefits. As a society, we don’t take the time to get enough sleep but, in some ways, this is as important as eating or breathing. Whilst you sleep, your brain organizes all the memories and things you’ve learned throughout the day.

Sleep helps the brain learn

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Sleep is actually essential in so many more ways than just giving our bodies rest and recuperation. One of the key ones is the fact that sleeping actually helps the brain to learn. Restless deep sleep results in visibly reduced learning efficiency, whilst uninterrupted sleep improved efficiency.

Reduces stress

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Stress can be one of the biggest health issues we face in the modern world. So many things cause stress in our lives, and this is why it is important to make sure you are focused on stress reduction as much as possible. When you sleep and relax your brain, it will reduce the levels of stress you experience.

Sleep allows the brain to be more flexible

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Another key component of sleep regarding brain function is the fact that sleeping can help the brain to reset and become more flexible. This is because sleep is integral to the brain’s neuroplasticity, and allows it to rewire itself and create new connections, effectively resetting for the next day.

Improves problem solving capabilities

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Being able to get the best night of sleep you possibly can is something that you should be looking to make the most of. One of the biggest advantages of this is that it improves your brain’s problem-solving capabilities, as well as opening up more creative avenues of thinking.

Sleep helps your brain unlearn

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As well as being able to help the brain with learning new things, sleep is also crucial for helping the brain to unlearn as well. In particular, non-REM sleep is absolutely crucial for this, and is believed to be the stage of sleep most associated with suppressing information.

Conserves energy

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The way the brain functions is pretty remarkable, and it impacts the entirety of our bodies. It is important to make sure you get enough sleep, because your brain will use this in order to conserve energy and give you that much-needed boost in order to get through the next day.

Both REM and non-REM sleep work in unison

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Studies have found that both REM and non-REM sleep functions differently and impacts the brain in different ways. They have also found that both of these forms of sleep work together in order to help give the brain exactly what is needs, to learn new things, and to ensure you don’t forget them.

Improves appetite regulation

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One of the biggest benefits of sleeping well is that it causes you brain to improve its weight management by supporting healthy appetite regulation. This is a key cog in the wheel of being able to lose weight effectively, so it’s something that shows the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.

Sleep strengthen neuronal connections

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Something else that new research has revealed is that there is believed to be a link between sleep and the strengthening of neuronal connections created during the day. This is crucial for solidifying new knowledge, and preventing the brain from forgetting it.

Cortical pruning

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Do you ever wonder how you brain makes room for so much information and knowledge? Well, this is due to something called cortical pruning, which occurs whilst we sleep. This is where unneeded neural connections are pruned over the course of the sleeping process to leave only pertinent connections.

Eases brain pain

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You might be surprised to hear that sleep actually has pain-reliving powers. Indeed, studies have shown that the somatosensory cortex, which is the brain’s pain sensitivity area, is hyper sensitive in people who are sleep deprived. Getting a good night’s sleep can go a long way toward lessening pain signals in the brain.

Cognitive growth and development in children

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As children are growing everyday, both mentally and physically, they need to be getting plenty of sleep, as this is vital. A good night’s sleep for children is key to improving and boosting cognitive growth and development, and allows them to hit their relevant developmental milestones.

Lessens brain anxiety

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One of the other things that happens to your brain when you sleep is that you will see a reduction in brain anxiety. This is actually really important for boosting mental health and wellness, and the prefrontal cortex is believed to be key in helping to calm your brain and reduce anxiety.

Builds emotional resilience

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Believe it or not, sleep is a great way of helping you to build emotional resilience, and, as you sleep, the brain becomes more resilient to future stressors. So, if you are serious about boosting mental health and well-being long-term, you’re going to need to make sure you get plenty of sleep.

You might be susceptible to RBD

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REM sleep behavior disorder (also known as RBD) is a sleep disorder characterized by disrupted sleep as a result of strange or dangerous events. During REM sleep temporary paralysis takes hold as the body soothes to a calm, in RBD this paralysis is non-existent, and can cause you to become physically and mentally agitated.

RBD may cause neurological problems

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Something else you need to be aware of when it comes to sleep and its impact on your brain is that RBD might well cause neurological problems and cognitive issues. This can impact your life in a negative way, and so is something that you need to seek help for if you are experiencing it.

Memory recall

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Another of the amazing things that can happen to your brain when you are sleeping is that its memory recall function is improved. If you find yourself struggling to remember or recall things, you may find that this is less the case when you are getting a proper night of sleep, and your brain is fully nourished.

Sleep clears waste from the brain

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Think of this like unclogging the pipes or recharging the batteries. It is important to understand that sleep is a great way to rest and detox the brain, and give it the valuable recharge it needs. It can help to clear waste and toxins from the brain, and help it to function at a higher level.

Visuospatial memory improves

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During sleep, your brain uses spatial memory consolidation, which is a great way of improving visuospatial memory. This is a key part of the process when it comes to aiding your navigation, and being able to improve spatial orientation. It is important to make sure you are getting the necessary sleep to help with this.

Recuperation via SWS

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The majority of the sleep that we do is what is known as slow wave sleep (SWS), which is characterized by large, slow brain waves, relaxed muscles, and deep breathing. This is how the brain recuperates and recharges after a long and tiring day, and is instrumental to improving your mind and body.

Neuroendocrine regulation

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Sleep is a key part of being able to improve, balance, and regulate your endocrine system. This is going to have a massive impact on your body’s homeostasis and metabolic processes, and this is something that plays a big part in helping to improve your body and mind.

It doesn’t go offline

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Despite what some people might think, when we fall asleep, our brain does not merely go offline or onto standby. In fact, a lot of activity actually happens in the brain when you fall asleep, and studies have determined that two groups of cells in the brain are responsible for causing slow wave sleep (SWS).

Dopamine reset

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During the date our environment acts almost like an assault on the senses, as we are getting consistent dopamine hits from everywhere. One of the best things about sleep is that it can help your brain to reset your dopamine receptors, preventing excessive stimulation.

You dream for around two hours per night

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It is believed, according to scientific research, that dreaming actually occurs for around two hours or more each night during REM sleep. This is actually super important in the process of creating memories and correctly processing information, so it’s important for the brain to dream during sleep.

Reduces fear

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Yes, believe it or not, when you are asleep your brain actually reduces the emotional intensity of fearful memories. This is a great step for helping to promote emotional recovery, and reducing the chances of you being scared in the future as well, which has a lot of benefits for your health and well-being.

Boosts focus

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Sleep is a vital part of helping the brain to function properly, and it is an essential part of maintaining and boosting focus in your brain. After a night of too little sleep we get that fuzzy, groggy feeling, where we feel like our brain is not operating at full capacity, and this is something that sleep helps with tenfold.

Enhances evaluative memory

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Evaluative memory is the ability to evaluate and learn from your past situations by remembering the experiences and growing from them. This is why you need to make sure you get the best night’s sleep you possibly can, as this is going to help you brain to enhance and improving evaluative memory.

Helps process emotional experiences

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According to UC Berkley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, a lack of sleep causes the brain to revert back to more primitive patterns of activity, which render it unable to put emotional experiences into context, or produce controlled responses. This highlights how important it really is to get the right amount of sleep.