The first major study that measures
and proves the negative effects of poor sleep on memory and quality
of day-to-day life suggests you may be able to sleep your way to
happiness.


While past research has shown sleep
is fundamental to our ability to lay down new memories, remember
important things and forget information we no longer need in order
for our brain to function normally, this new study goes one step
further by measuring and proving it for the very first
time.


We worked with psychologists at the
University of Leeds to look at the effects of sleep on memory and
how people function day-to-day, outside of a lab, among the general
public.


It conclusively proved that sleep
not only boosts everyday memory but, as a result, also improves
overall physical and emotional health and wellbeing.


The study measured sleep (quality,
quantity and duration) against everyday memories. The five
everyday memories people were asked to measure against were having
to check whether they've done something; forgetting to tell
somebody something important; forgetting where things are normally
kept; forgetting to do something they intended to do such as post a
letter or take medication and finding it difficult to concentrate
or remember information.


While both sleep and memory have
their own impact on quality of life, the data suggests that a lack
of sleep can also lead to poor memory which, in turn, can have a
negative effect on quality of life.


Dr Anna Weighall, development
cognitive psychologist and sleep expert at University of Leeds
said: "Good sleep leads to improved memory performance and this
leads to a better quality of life; it has long been said this is
the case and we have noticed such findings in a lab but this is the
first time we have gone out to people in their everyday lives and
achieved measurable results.  It proves to us beyond doubt
that those people getting a good night's sleep can potentially have
a better quality of life and hopefully, as a result, be
happier.


"Of course, there are other factors
affecting memory over and above sleep, but at this stage they are
poorly understood and could be difficult to change. This is not the
case with sleep and there are many things we can do to improve
it." 


Silentnight's sleep expert Dr Nerina
Ramlakhan said: "With more than a quarter of Brits sleeping for
less than five hours a night, there is no wonder that this lack of
sleep is having a major effect on memory and happiness."


"If you're struggling to get the
recommended 7-8 hours at night, learning to power nap during the
day can be a great way to boost both our brains and our mood. I
would recommend taking 10-20minutes, in which you allow your body
to totally relax, ideally in the afternoon when energy levels
dip."


memory info


To see more of Dr Nerina's sleep
tips, go to www.silentnight.co.uk/sleep-matters