Why You Need Adequate Sleep

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By Sharon Jane Akinyemi
Sleep is that thing that we are so much in need of in this our hyperactive, adrenaline-addicted culture. It is that thing that we often ignore until we feel the consequences of missing it. That thing that 48% of Nigerians report a lack of (insomnia) occasionally and 22% report missing every night. Insomnia in Nigeria has become an epidemic and it is wreaking havoc on our health.
A recent research notes that between 40 and 60 per cent of people over the age of 60 suffer from sleep deprivation; while women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia as men.
“This has to do with women’s hormones,” experts say; as sleepless nights and daytime sleepiness have been linked with hormonal changes in a woman’s life, including pregnancy, menopause, and the menstrual cycle.
The Learning Process and Sleep
Sleep, learning, and memory are complex phenomena that are not entirely understood. However, animal and human studies suggest that the quantity and quality of sleep have a profound impact on learning and memory. Research suggests that sleep helps learning and memory in two distinct ways. First, a sleep-deprived person cannot focus attention optimally and therefore cannot learn efficiently. Second, sleep itself has a role in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information.
Although the exact mechanisms are not known, learning and memory are often described in terms of three functions. Acquisition refers to the introduction of new information into the brain. Consolidation represents the processes by which a memory becomes stable. Recall refers to the ability to access the information (whether consciously or unconsciously) after it has been stored.
Each of these steps is necessary for proper memory function. Acquisition and recall occur only during wakefulness, but research suggests that memory consolidation takes place during sleep through the strengthening …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper