BY THENEUROHIVE SEPT 18TH 2020
Everyone knows how amazing it feels to wake up after a deep sound and refreshing sleep. But you may not know just how critical getting a full night of sleep is to your overall health, wellbeing and achieving optimal brain health and performance.
If we take a look at Matt Walker's research and examine the impact of sleep on human health and disease, we see just how important sleep is. Walker is the former Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and currently a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Human Sleep Science.
His cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and synthesizing decades of research and clinical practice, His book "Why We Sleep" explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children; and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses. Let's take a quick look at some of the implications of sleep loss.
One area that sleep deprivation wrecks havoc on, is our attention and how our ability to keep the brain tasking efficiently deteriorates very rapidly with insufficient sleep.
One cognitive ability that is especially susceptible to sleep loss is attention, which serves ongoing goal-directed behaviour4. Performance on attentional tasks deteriorates in a dose-dependent manner with the amount of accrued time awake, owing to increasing sleep pressure5–7. The prototypic impairments on such tasks are known as ‘lapses’ or ‘microsleeps’, which involve response failures that reflect errors of omission4–6. More specifically, attentional maintenance becomes highly variable and erratic (with attention being sustained, lost, reestablished, then lost again), resulting in unstable task performance4. 
Have you ever had a poor night sleep and the next day you felt well...irritable, uncomfortable, moody, and just overall in a funky mood? you aren't alone! Research suggests that lack of sleep severely effects your emotional state and accumulated sleep loss leads to amplified negative emotions, stress, anxiety, and anger even in low-stress situations.
Together with impairments of attention, alertness and memory, sleep loss has consistently been associated with subjective reports of irritability and emotional volatility (Horne 1985). Restricting sleep to only 5hr a night across a 1-week period leads to a progressive increase in emotional disturbance in participants on the basis of questionnaire mood scales, together with diary documentation of increasing subjective emotional difficulties (Dinges et al 1997). Moreover, accumulated sleep loss leads to an amplification of negative emotions in response to disruptive daytime experiences, while blunting the affective benefit associated with goal-enhancing activities (Zohar et al 2005). Congruently, one night of experimentally controlled sleep loss increases subjective reports of stress, anxiety and anger in response to low-stress situations (Minkel et al 2012), and increases impulsivity towards negative stimuli (Anderson & Platten 2011). This is of particular clinical interest considering that impulsivity is significantly correlated with aggressive behavior and suicidality (Plutchik 1995), both of which are associated with sleep disruption (Bernert & Joiner 2007, Kamphuis et al 2012). 
Now that you have some reference to why sleep is so important let's look at a few things that can improve your sleep.
1. SLEEPING A FOR THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TIME
Granted the amount of sleep for each of us tends to vary, the suggested optimal amount is around seven to nine hours each night.
2. GOING TO SLEEP AT A REASONABLE TIME
It's well understood that circadian rhythm plays an important role in our overall wellness. Circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats on each rotation of the Earth roughly every 24 hours. It can refer to any biological process that displays an endogenous, entrainable oscillation of about 24 hours. So it's best to find a good rhythm for your sleep-wake cycle.
3. CREATE A ROUTINE
A routine will help you with a foundation for a getting in that rhythm. Once you get into a good flow for your daily and nightly cycles things will get easier and easier.
4. CREATE A TRANSITION
Find a time to wind down your day activities and transition to begin your night routine, this will help you slide into your night cycle with a sense of completion and relaxation.
5. SLEEP DARKNESS
Sleeping in complete darkness away from blinky, flashy or bright LED lights that our phones, TV's and other gadgets constantly buzz with, can substantially reduce interference with our brains ability to get into REM sleep state.
6. STAY COOL
We all know the frustration of trying to sleep in a hot room! According to The National Sleep Foundation, they recommend around 60 to 67 degrees for optimal sleep. So make sure you are cool while getting some zzz.
This one is quite obvious, but the more energy expenditure the more rest your body will want. So get out, get moving, and get to sleeping better.
Maybe this should be first, but the overwhelming need to keep your health and wellness in good graces starts with a balanced and nutritious diet. It seems like it can be complicated but it's actually quite simple.... eat healthy, nutritious foods.
Thankfully we can help you out with that, our Neuro Collection both Neurohoney & Neuropollen have been formulated with Adaptogens, Nootropics & Mushrooms for full body integrated wellness.*
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All content provided on this website is for informational purposes only. This information is never intended to be a substitute for a doctor-patient relationship nor does it constitute medical advice of any kind.
 The sleep-deprived human brain
 The Role of Sleep in Emotional Brain Function
Andrea N. Goldstein1 and Matthew P. Walker1,2,*