Jun 24, 2019

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Four Surprising Things about Sleep You Need to Know Right Now

Sleep plays a crucial role in your physical health as much as eating healthy and getting enough exercise, and a lot happens when you don’t get enough sleep. Aside from being cranky and groggy all day, you’re also less likely to be able to focus on important tasks or remember important details.

However, there’s more going on with your precious shut-eye moments other than what happens to your body while you doze off, such as the following:

1. Sleep-deprived brains play tricks

There are more ways your brain can mess with you the longer you go without sleep. Even staying up for twenty-four hours straight can already make you more irritable and anxious.

If you need to do complicated tasks that require a good amount of hand-eye coordination, you won’t be able to when you’ve been up all night – sleep deprived people often have worse hand-eye coordination than those who are intoxicated.

2. Devices distract – in more ways than one

It’s not just the light the compulsion to use your devices that make you lose sleep – it’s the very light your screens emit that’s responsible for this. Most screens emit blue light, which can interfere with the melatonin secretion in your brain.

To get a better night’s rest, it’s recommended that you stop looking at screens for at least two hours before you get to sleep. This allows your body’s natural clock to set in and make you feel tired on its own.

3. Naps are more important than you think

If you like dozing off every now and then because of various reasons, then there’s more reason to take a few power naps without apologizing to anyone.

In fact, many studies have found that even a short ten-minute nap can improve alertness and overall cognitive performance, which is great especially when you feel drained or are working late hours.

There are two types of naps you need to know about:

  • The “power nap” – This nap lasts between ten and twenty minutes, and works great in getting rid of that grogginess post-nap
  • The “hour nap” – This nap is longer, lasting between ninety to one hundred twenty minutes, but lets you have a full cycle of sleep and deal with mental processing much better

4. Any sleep is a lot better than no sleep

Many people are drawn to the appeal of staying productive and working non-stop until your body actually collapses from work, but just like running, you’ll eventually crash if you don’t take a break.

So if you happen to have some trouble focusing on a task at work, it might be better to take a few minutes of shut-eye to help you get back to it feeling a lot sharper than before.

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