A Lecture by Professor Richard Wiseman
So we are learning how to sleep!
We really do need to because so many of us are sleep deprived; 39% in 2013 rising sharply to 66% in 2014, with the advent of the smart phone and iPads. And sleep deprivation increases your likelihood of obesity by 15%, heart disease by 45% and the big ‘C’ by 60%. These outcomes are extreme but they are a short stop from the tired eyes, poor attention span and reduced reaction time that you are familiar with when you don’t get enough shut-eye.
Professor Richard Wiseman explained what your body and brain is doing during sleep. It is very busy by all accounts.
- During sleep the brain cements the learning from the day.
- If you sleep on it, information retention increases by 30%.
- During sleep the body sets about repairing soft tissue including the brain itself.
- During sleep your brain rehearses actions learned in the recent past.
- Athletes who get good sleep improve their subsequent performance by 10%.
So are you ready to learn how to sleep better?
Tips 6 to 10
Here is Tips No.6 to No.10. The last one is my new favourite.
6. If you can’t get to sleep, try NOT to go to sleep. Force yourself to keep your eyes open. Trying this for a few minutes is tiring and will help you nod off.
7. If you can’t empty your mind of worries get up and do something that is relaxing and not taxing and definitely not on your computer or smartphone. Then head back to bed after a few minutes when your mind is calm.
8. Push any worries out of your mind and onto paper. You can deal with them tomorrow.
9. Nod off to soothing music. Richard Wiseman directed us to the perfect sound track for this. Get it on your device, set it playing (without looking at the screen) and let it wrap around you like a duvet as you drift off to …………………………….zzzzzzzz
10. Work with your body’s natural rhythms. We all have a dip in energy between 12 noon and 2.00pm. This is when your body is crying out for a nap. So take one, for a maximum of 20 minutes. It is amazing how refreshed I feel when I do this. My afternoons are far more productive when I have 40 winks early in the afternoon. And here are the stats; a short nap improves memory by 26% and increases alertness by 54%.
If you want to go deeper get the book.