So much attention is paid to diet and exercise, but what about sleep? Sleep has a greater effect on mood, energy and productivity. Diet and exercise regimens take time, planning, shopping, gear or travel to the gym. Better sleep can be tweaked with just a little awareness.
I’ve been reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker PhD. It’s an easy and informative guide to help understand how sleep works and why it deserves equal attention.
Like a balanced diet or an exercise routine (“interval training” for example), you need enough sleep to get the right balance; 7-9 hours for most of us. Throughout the night, while asleep, your brain produces alternating rhythms − slow wave or Non-REM sleep and fast wave or REM dreaming sleep. Walker uses a sculpting as an analogy for how these two kinds of sleep are necessary and work together. Think of your brain being a mass of clay at day’s end. During the first part of the night, the slow wave sleep (NREM) works long and hard to chip away at irrelevant data from the day, exposing a contour of the “new you” for the fast wave (REM) detail work to begin. The 2nd half of the night the master sculptor (REM) becomes more dominant; it integrates and consolidates the learning and insights (neural connections) from the previous day. By the morning both (NREM) and REM have done their jobs − Voila! You wake up ready to take on new learning and ideas.
Like an unbalanced diet or a lop-sided workout, shorting on sleep deprives you of the equalizing kind of restoration you need to be creative and productive.
Being the CEO in charge of your sleep is just one of our CoreFour strategies. Learn more about CoreFour Coaching at www.MindfulCommunication.com.