Almost every adult in this world knows that a good night sleep is very important. It has a lot of health benefits, it can help you in your physical healing process, and it can help you get the most of your brain power or capacity. The minimum amount of sleep a person should have is six to seven hours, but having a bit more is way much better, important, and beneficial. There are studies that suggest that sleep deprivation over extended periods of time can lead to many health problems such as high-blood pressure, aneurysm, and heart attack. According also to National Center for Biotechnology Information website, “Sleep disruption alters cognition and performance in many domains, including attention/vigilance, executive function, emotional reactivity, memory formation, decision-making, risk-taking behavior, and judgment”.
Today, with all the stress in our surroundings, it can be very hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling rested. Aside from stress, there are also other factors such as electro-magnetic frequencies (EMF) from cell phones, computers, and other electronic gadgets. Also, bright lights and other things can affect our nervous system and sleep hormones. It lessens how much sleep we get during the night. When we are lack of sleep, we will lose out what our body needs for it to work properly. It can adversely affect our cognitive thinking ability and our motor skills and make our energy drop, making us more at risks on physical illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, and even cancer.
In addition, sleep deprivation may also lead to other expensive illnesses. Hospitalization and medicine these days cost so much that is why it is very important to take care of our health by having good amounts of sleep for us to avoid spending a lot of money on these consequences. CNN diagnosed lack of sleep as one of America’s top problem. According to them, “Sleep deprivation costs up to 150 billion dollars a year and has reduced productivity in the workplace”.
The impact of sleep on creativity
Many have heard stories about artists who have drawn their inspiration on their sleep. For example, Robert Lewis Stevenson reportedly imagined the plot from Dr. Jeckell and Mr. Hyde in a dream. Also, Samuel Taylor Coleridge stumbled to a pen and paper upon waking up to scroll the first lines of Kublai Khan. Despite many claims that staying late at night makes you more creative and have many ideas for your crafts, recent research suggests that having a good sleep will make you even more creative. For example, in 2009, the University of California San Diego conducted a study about the connection of sleep to creativity. It was found out that the participants who slept performed far better on creativity altitude test compared to those who simply rested without sleeping.
Sleeping also helps connect our experiences and our thoughts and memories through dreams. Dreams are very beneficial in processing our thoughts which in turn helps provide inspiration and ideas on our waking state. For example, making art is an effort to connect thoughts and the real world or experiences. There is a period of coming out of sleep called the hypnopompic state which provides rich imagery from our dreams during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. This is one of the techniques used by Salvador Dali, a famous surrealist painter. And lastly, Harvard Medical School also found that REM sleep helps people create solutions to problems.
Some tips for a good sleep at night
- Organize your room
- Do not take heavy dinner
- Turn off electronic gadgets before you sleep
- Avoid caffeinated drinks during late afternoon or during the evening
- Take a shower or half-bath
- Have a regular exercise
- Turn off the lights or use dim lights
- Avoid alcohol
- Take essential vitamins and minerals
Consequences of Sleep Deprivation:
UCLA Sleep and Creativity Study