The one thing you need for PEAK brain performance
I had the privilege to complete a course on Neuroscience and the Art of Coaching last summer. Fascinating! Since completing my certification, I’ve begun to delve into the amazing organ that is our brain. Our brains – with approximately 86 million brain cells with ~10,000 neural pathways (connections) each are simply AMAZING. AMAZING.
And – what’s one thing or brains need to operate at peak performance? Sleep!
According to the latest Gallup poll, 40% of Americans report getting six or fewer hours of sleep each night, versus the recommended seven to nine hours. You probably know about the health risks associated with chronic lack of sleep, including increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and a weakened immunity system – just to name a few. But what happens to your brain when you don’t get enough sleep?
The “Sleep Doctor”, Michael J Breus, Ph.D. outlines some of the neurological challenges of our sleep-deprived world here. He discusses the impact on everything from memory creation and storage to decision-making and reaction time.
As Breus notes, “Sound judgment, solid planning, thoughtful decision-making—these are the bedrock cognitive skills that help us thrive, succeed at work and in relationships, create stable, prosperous lives, and help us live out our ethical values. Sleep deprivation makes these important, grown-up life skills more difficult.”
Your brain continues to function while your body rests. It works to clear molecular debris and to process the loads of information and emotion that come your way in your waking hours. I also like to let my subconscious mind help with processing overnight. Struggling with a problem or situation that you can’t seem to resolve in daytime hours? Ask your brain to work on it overnight – you just might be surprised at the insights you’ll have!
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