Sleep ''resets the mind''
Getting plenty of sleep is an essential part of helping people to stay alert and healthy, but little is really known about the process that makes sleep such an excellent restorative for the mind.
However, research carried out by psychologist Giulio Tononi of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US has revealed the brain effectively resets itself during sleep, ensuring the mind is fresh and alert for the new day.
He noted that individuals who do not get enough sleep can become irritable and tired, and are more likely to be forgetful or accident-prone. This is because during sleep, the brain actually breaks down millions of connections that have been created during the day, in order for the mind to continue making new ones the following day.
"Sleep may be the price you pay so your brain can be plastic the next day," commented Mr Tononi in one of his papers on the subject.
However, getting more sleep can be tricky for some people, especially if they have a hectic lifestyle.
Sleep expert Jared Croslow recently advised those hoping to have more restful evenings that in order for Brits to get to sleep more easily, they should make a few minor adjustments that will see them nod off faster, have deeper, more restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever the day has to throw at them.
He noted that during a six-month personal study of his own sleeping patterns, hitting the snooze button meant he was getting far less deep sleep than he realised - just 25 per cent of the recommended amount on average - and this left him feeling groggy, unfocussed and generally sleep-deprived.
As such, setting the alarm for the time a person wants to wake up and simply getting up when it goes off can provide a significant boost to the amount of deep sleep they are getting.
Posted by Elizabeth Mewes