Is sleep sweeter in April? It is! The reason researchers give is that the human brain, which is able to collect 11 million pieces of information per second, enters into a self-cleaning phase in the spring, during which it literally renews itself. During the spring, it sorts memories and throws out useless ones, and to be successful in this process, it has to relax. In practical term, we need to sleep.
Assomensana, a non-profit association of neuropsychologists, have done research in the domain of mental functions since 2004. They compiled the book „How to Live for At Least 100 Years”, containing, among else, secrets for a refreshing all-night sleep. The book busts many myths about how the brain works.
It is not true that memory works better in the morning
In fact, we retain better texts read in the evening than the ones we read in the morning. Two studies from the universities of Washington and Wisconsin published in Science reveal that a good sleep stimulates memory, and it this fact is also confirmed by Giuseppe Alfredo Iannoccari, the president of Assomensana. “80%o of what we have learned in the evening will be retained for 8 to 10 hours. In contrast, what we learn in the morning – only 40% of such information will be retained because of the interferences happening during the day.
It is not true that the quality of sleep decreases with old age
Do we sleep less and badly as we advance in age? A study published in the magazine Sleep proves the exact opposite. Researchers worked with 155.877 American adults to explore the prevalence of sleep disturbances, taking into consideration the test subjects’ age, health, gender and mental state. The results show that, except for middle aged persons who tend to struggle with a high incidence of sleep disturbances, the quality of sleep keeps improving over a lifetime until the age of 80. The reason for insomnia over 80 is related to lifestyle rather than to age.
It is not true that TV induces sleep
How many people allow themselves to crash in front of the TV and fall asleep on a couch or in an armchair, in uncomfortable positions? Apparently many. A research performed at the University of Pennsylvania confirms, however, that watching TV before going to bed reduces the total amount of resting time. The images stimulate the retina, which, in turn, is directly connected to the hypothalamus, the brain area that regulates sleeping cycles. Consequently, we should sit far for the TV screen even if we are addicted to action movies and talk shows. The same is valid for iPads, iPhones, Blackberries and computers as well. Specialists recommend not having any tech devices in the bedroom if we want to enjoy a healthy and refreshing sleep. Also, many studies reveal the benefits of meditation before going to bed for a good rest.
It is not true that tired people sleep better
Going to bed exhausted in the evening is not a guarantee for a good sleep. On the contrary, if we exercise or do some hard work before bedtime, we will find it difficult to fall asleep. Instead, we should concentrate on creating optimal conditions for sleep: an appropriate temperature (18 °C), bedtime (going to bed at approximately the same time every night is the best), a relaxing drink (herbal tea), a light bedtime snack (nuts, yogurt, rice, barley etc.), some respiration exercise or meditation to overcome mental agitation and stress. All these tricks have the effect of bedtime stories read to children.