Sleep is critical to brain health and brain performance. If you are pursuing success either a Big Company Climber, Virtuoso (Expert) or Dreamer-Entrepreneur, you need to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night in order to optimize brain performance so that you can solve problems, overcome obstacles and clearly identify opportunities.
4 Critical Brain Benefits of Sleep:
- Repair Brain Cells & Destroy Pathogens – During sleep, the brain’s immune cells, microglial cells, repair damaged brain cells and dismantle (destroy/kill) any pathogens that somehow managed to breach the Blood-Brain Barrier.
- Clean Brain – During sleep, brain cells (Neurons) shrink about 20%. This creates extra space inside the brain. Glymphatic Fluid is then released into that extra space to clean away the debris left behind by the microglial cells as well as to clear away excess Tua and Amyloid Plaque (proteins that accumulate around brain cells during the day).
- Re-Sets Emotional Centers of the Brain – During the day, many things happen which amp up the emotional centers of the brain. During sleep, those emotional brain centers are re-set back to their genetically pre-determined baseline.
- Creates LT Memory – During the day you take in a great deal of new information. This new information is temporarily stored inside the Hippocampus. During sleep, the Hippocampus and Cerebral Cortex loop that new memory back and forth, thousands of times, each night. Why? The brain creates LT Memory by linking new memory to old memory. It does this by searching for Associations – older brain regions that are somehow related to the new memories. When one or more old brain areas are found, the Cerebral Cortex will store the new memory by encoding the old memories (existing brain cells that contain old memories) with the new memories. What’s cool about this process is that as these two brain regions are searching for a place to store the new memories, they inadvertently trip over many older, existing brain cells/synapses. Because the brain thinks in pictures, every time this memory storage function trips over existing brain cells/synapses, those older areas light up. The result is the inadvertent flashing of some previous memory in the form of a picture. This inadvertent flashing, we call Dreams. Pretty cool!
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