Date: October 26, 2022

Author: Kathleen Boziwick

Why do we spend around one-third of our lives sleeping? Couldn’t we get much more done if we missed the prescribed seven to eight hours of sleep every night? Actually, your brain does numerous critical jobs. At the same time, you sleep, processes that make you significantly healthier and more effective while you are up. Let’s take a look at how sleep keeps your mind sharp.

The Advantages of Sleep

A person passes through four to six sleep cycles during which both the brain and the body change. Scientists are still unsure why these cycles occur, but they are thought to aid mental healing.

The hypothalamus, a little, almond-sized region of the brain, regulates your sleep. The hypothalamus governs body temperature, emotional reactions, and hunger. It is also in charge of hormone production and the regulation of your internal body clock. If it is not working correctly, you will be tired throughout the day and restless at night.

Your brain filters through the day’s events, determining which memories to preserve and which to discard as unimportant. Sufficient sleep maintains your thinking fresh and allows your brain to cement previously stored information in your memory.

When you learn something throughout the day and sleep soundly that night, your brain may connect these new memories to previous ones and may provide you with creative thoughts while you sleep.

Your brain is also working hard to eliminate poisons collected over the day. The gaps between your brain cells dramatically increase when you sleep, allowing these poisons to be more readily disposed of. This contains beta-amyloid peptides, which are precursors of the plaques seen in Alzheimer’s disease. This is why persons with sleep disorders are typically more prone to this sort of dementia since their brains cannot do this activity as effectively when sleep-deprived.

People who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, which happens when the airway becomes clogged while sleeping, are deprived of the necessary restorative sleep. This sleep condition impairs memory consolidation and increases vulnerability to various cognitive issues, including dementia. If you feel you have a sleep condition, visit your doctor, who may recommend a sleep study.

Sleep deprivation has a variety of consequences on the brain. It impairs your ability to multitask, which is especially critical while driving using your hands, feet, eyes, and spatial judgment.

You also lose part of your creative potential since a lack of sleep impairs your imagination and ability to conceive fresh or alternative solutions to a problem. Learning becomes more challenging, and you may suffer difficulties with emotional and behavioral control.

Sleep issues are very intimately linked to depression. Poor sleep may increase the presence of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to even less sleep and mood changes.

As you become older, sleeping gets increasingly difficult. According to studies, our sleep quality deteriorates as we age. The medial prefrontal cortex of the brain deteriorates with time, making it more difficult for the brain to comprehend memories.

How Can a Senior Improve Their Sleep?

A senior who actively struggles to sleep at night could be a sign of other problems. A senior must talk to their doctor about sleeping habits to get the right help. If a senior needs help with a bedtime routine or can no longer put themselves to sleep, it can be a sign they need more help in the middle of the night. 24-hour home care can be helpful for some seniors.

Another way 24-hour care can help a senior is by ensuring they have a dark and cooler room to sleep in. They may also help a senior stick to a bedtime routine easier, and help them pay attention to any sleeping patterns a senior may miss on their own.