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
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
"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
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
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