Sleep Can Repair Your Brain, But Only If You’re Doing It Right


Popular opinion is that you should get eight hours
of sleep a night, but it might not actually be the number of hours you sleep, but the quality
of your sleep that matters. Scientists aren’t totally sure why we evolved
to sleep. When we sleep we’re unconscious to the world
leaving us vulnerable to predators, but every species that has been studied in detail sleeps,
so there’s something beneficial to it! Not sleeping well isn’t just annoying, it’s
linked to poor overall health, lack of focus, memory loss, and Alzheimer’s disease. We’ve talked about sleep a lot. Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of sleep,
non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Together they encompass the stages of sleep
that are vital for feeling rested in the morning. If sleep is cut short we don’t go through
all these phases. This can lead to anxiety, depression, fatigue,
physical pain, and sleep disorders ranging from insomnia to hypersomnia, which is sleeping
too much. Bad sleep can even stop us from forming memories. A new study looked at dendrites, branching
outgrowths from neurons that carry electrical signals from synapses to the cell body. Activity in dendrites increases during sleep. That increase is linked to short and repetitive
brain waves called spindles. These spindles peak at the beginning and end
of a non-REM sleep cycle, the latter-end is marked by slow wave activity in the brain. During that peaking you’re in a deep-sleep
phase. And without it, your memories suffer. So it’s that deep-sleep phase right before
REM sleep that we really need. The slow waves are associated with the most
prominent brain activity during sleep. They help transfer memories from the hippocampus
to the prefrontal cortex where they are consolidated and stored. These slow waves are also linked to attention
in wakeful hours, heart health, metabolic regulation, and overall cognition. By the way, missing out on that deep sleep
can be as simple as having anxiety. When we’re stressed, our bodies are primed
to respond to situations by waking up. When you’re stressed the amygdala’s “fight
or flight” response doesn’t totally shut down. This means, you can’t enter that deep sleep
restorative phase! Without this restorative sleep, we don’t
restore our brain to a baseline condition. And over the years this adds up. The link between poor sleep and Alzheimer’s
isn’t from a few bad nights, it’s from YEARS of poor sleep that doesn’t allow the
brain to properly repair itself. So what can you do? A lot of research points to sleep hygiene
as a simple place to start. The same way you shower to clean your body
you want to clean your sleeping space. Establishing healthy sleep habits like avoiding
caffeine in the afternoon, not napping late in the day, keeping screens out of the bedroom,
and exposing yourself to light patterns that mimic your circadian rhythm. Of course, the stresses that are keeping your
brain from fully relaxing are less simple to fix, but worth working on it if means healthy
sleep for a healthy life. If you like this video be sure to subscribe
for more Seeker, we’ve got a so many videos on sleep! Click here to watch. You’ll sleep better at night. And speakin of… Did you know, some birds can sleep while flying
by keeping part of their brain awake! I wish I could do that.


100 Responses

  1. Christian O. Holz

    January 7, 2018 3:57 am

    That quality of sleep is important shouldn't be a surprise. I know it from my own experience as well as speaking with a neurologist and therapist

  2. Mr. Sir01

    January 7, 2018 8:25 am

    Yup the other day I feel asleep at 3:00am and woke up at 4:58am because I couldn’t sleep from stress, that day was horrible

  3. werriebezzie

    January 7, 2018 11:51 pm

    If her fringe could speak it would keep her awake at night… Because I am sure it has a lot to say.

  4. Pedro Stormrage

    January 8, 2018 12:59 am

    But aren't the stages of sleep cyclical? So, even if stage N3 (deep sleep) is the one that really matters (or, at least, is the most important one), one would still need to sleep for longer periods in order to enter stage N3 more times (if I got that right)

  5. Lars Maas

    January 8, 2018 2:14 am

    I used to sleep +- 7 hours a day (I had no trouble getting out of bed) but I thought 7 hours was too little, so the past week I've been trying to sleep 7,5 hours a day. The problem I found is that when I wake up, I'm really really tired and I can't get up. Could this be because I wake up in another part of the sleep cycle?

  6. David Lopez

    January 8, 2018 10:23 pm

    I have been sleeping better since I got a Google home mini as I'm listening to soft music or calming sounds instead of looking at a screen.

  7. Animiles

    January 9, 2018 11:48 pm

    How ironic. I couldn't sleep so I picked up my phone and went to YouTube, where I came across this video.. xD

  8. James Dillinger

    January 14, 2018 10:14 pm

    I haven't been sleeping well for many years. Mostly due to past addiction to gaming, which now has given me irregular periods of anxiety that can keep me awake for hours. Last week, I slept on average for about 4 hours per day and it has really affected my ability to focus in class and retain memory of new of things or recall information from the past. Over the years, I have noticed how my brain's ability to process and store information has gotten worse and I wasn't really doing anything to change that.
    After watching this video, I'm going to take better care of my sleep schedule since Alzheimer's, for me, is the scariest disease, which a person can develop through carelessness.

  9. Ramil Derogongun

    January 16, 2018 1:32 pm

    Meditation, use warm phone's backlit, use earplugs and read book helped me to sleep before 10:30PM most of the time.

  10. Etienne De Laat

    January 16, 2018 9:16 pm

    I would die if I killed my afternoon coffee, which also brings me in a state of rest, although on a constant basis.. Not sure they mean this…

  11. clarity2199

    January 21, 2018 5:58 am

    Wow, this particular video really tries to scare the shit out of you, doesn't it? I noticed they didn't quote any research that proves a link of lack of sleep to Alzheimer's, either.

  12. Obito Uchiha

    February 18, 2018 1:01 pm

    What about dreams ? Why do we dream mostly before we wake up ? Sometimes both be4 we go to sleep n wake up . And why do we mostly forget dreams ? Does it got to do something with our memory power ?

  13. Adam A

    February 27, 2018 2:53 pm

    rofl 'scientists aren't sure why we evolved to sleep' hmm i wonder. also, why are scientists the authority? people are so dumb these days i feel sorry for ppl.

  14. HH WE

    September 25, 2018 11:41 am

    Proper amount and quality may/can repair the body which is the reason in certain prisons, sleep deprivation is used as torture. The other is reducing oxygen levels. Which is the reason, I'm electronically harassed almost non-stop from January 2011, electronically harassed / torture from 2013 Fall Equinox and directed energy weapons assaulted from 2014, almost burned to death in 2016 from drones, motorcycle, cars, vans, trucks, satellites and finally microwave beaming me actively during nights from somewhere ensuring damage to my brain in addition to not being able to sleep for years! Sleep deprivation is a tool to kill.

  15. Okto Putsch

    May 21, 2019 10:27 am

    i heard the dolphins also have half of their brain sleeping while the other remains active.

  16. Mary May

    October 4, 2019 10:16 am

    I had terrible insomnia for 9 months, the only method I can rest was by using medications. I obtained this “Fαnvοkα Fawam” (Google it) sleep plan from a medical professional. In just 5 weeks of employing this sleep program, I got the very best sleep I never ever had. Individuals who have experienced insomnia for a very long time should test this. My sleeping has greatly improved!. .


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