How Much Should You Sleep?
Nowadays we are quite aware of the fact that not getting enough sleep harms our mental processes. If you have an important day ahead of you, then a good night of sleep is paramount to your success. Recently however, there has been some research suggesting that too much sleep can also be harmful for the body. This begs the question: what is the perfect amount of sleep?
Brain training research has concluded that brain games scores decrease significantly when the player has had 5 hours sleep or less. When the player has had 10 hours or more of sleep, score results also decrease. From these results we can already conclude that players with 5 to 10 hours of sleep performed the best. Among those tested within this group, the group that slept exactly 7 hours performed the very best.
Everyone is not the same
Of course, we have to take into account that not every person is built the same. Some might function perfectly fine on 5 hours of sleep, and some might need a few more. However, it’s still useful to know that on average, 7 hours seems to be the ideal amount of required rest for your brain.
Another thing that you might not know, is the danger of the snooze button. Research has determined that after you’ve initially woken up, another 15 minutes of sleep won’t do any good for you. Now imagine snoozing three times in a row, that would mean you’ve lost 45 minutes of your day, without any added benefit! The best thing to do is to get up right away, have a good breakfast, hydrate and get some light exercise or some other activity that will help you wake up and become energized.
Something to sleep on
Sleep remains for the most part a mystery, as we cannot exactly pinpoint why we need it as a species. Some say it helps process memories, and to help the brain unwind and recharge. Others say dreams are a survival tool. If we take nightmares as an example, these might be our bodies’ way of preparing us for danger. If you’ve simulated a bear attack in your dreams, then chances are you will be better prepared for it happening in real life, or at least so goes the theory. The only thing we know for certain, is that no one can survive without sleep.
We have thus far determined the ideal amount of sleep. However, just because you got your 7 hours of sleep, does not automatically mean that you got 7 hours of quality sleep. To assure you will get a good night’s rest, the following steps are extremely important.
- Put your phone on silent: Besides emergencies, there is rarely ever a reason to receive messages during your sleep. In the worst case scenario, they will wake you up and disturb your sleep. In the best case scenario, your mind might stay asleep, but your body will be aware of something happening in your surroundings, and it will be in a lesser relaxed state, which also influences your sleep quality.
- Make your room pitch dark. Sleeping with some form of light present in the room has been shown to reduce quality of sleep substantially. Our bodies are designed to sleep when it’s dark, so putting some kind of artificial light on in your room will make it harder for your body to get into a deep sleep.
- Make sure you are hydrated. During sleep, your body loses a lot of water, and for your bodily functions, water is a necessity. Make sure you drink a lot of water before going to bed and also right after waking up. You will start to feel much better after doing this consistently for a period of time and your sleep quality will also improve (you also won’t wake up in the middle of the night because of thirst).
Test this theory
If you have been playing our brain games on Braingymmer.com for a while, then this is a good moment for you to test what a good amount of sleep can do for you. For the next two weeks, try to get 7 hours of quality sleep, and play our brain games on a daily basis. Then, compare your scores after two weeks with your previous scores. You should be able to see a clear increase in results, which would indicate that your brain is more focussed, and your mental processes have improved.