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 TIPS FOR GOOD SLEEP AND BRAIN MEMORY

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PostSubject: TIPS FOR GOOD SLEEP AND BRAIN MEMORY   Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:17 pm

Sleep and Memory

You have probably heard that sleep and memory are connected. It’s true - many studies have shown that not getting enough quality rest can directly hurt your memory.


I have certainly noticed this in my own life. Whenever I have a poor night due to stress, allergies, back pain, or other reasons, my mind almost always feels foggier the next day.

At night, your brain organizes what you learned during the day. As a memory study in the November 2006 issue of the journal Nature said, “… sleep contributes to the long-term consolidation of new memories.”

According to another study, getting too few hours hurts memorization ability as much as no sleep at all! So to strengthen your memory, it is vital to get enough quality sleep each night.

A poor night’s sleep hurts your memory in two big ways:
Being sleepy hurts your concentration. When you can’t focus on things clearly, you can’t remember well.
Sleeping poorly means the things you learned the previous day are not fully recorded in the memory parts of your brain.

According to Howard Nusbaum, a sleep researcher at the University of Chicago, a good night’s rest not only helps retention but can even help you recall thoughts forgotten during the day. As he says in Psychology Today magazine,

Sleep might strengthen relevant associations and weaken irrelevant associations, improving access to memories.

Below are some helpful tips on getting better sleep and more sleep. But if after trying these free tips you still have trouble sleeping, you might want to check out Yan Muckle’s SleepTracks program. A lot of people say this program helps them sleep soundly and wake up feeling rested.

The SleepTracks program retrains your brain’s activity during the day so you sleep better at night. SleepTracks comes with a 100% money-back guarantee, so you’re not really risking anything by trying it.
Getting Better Sleep

Try and improve the quality of sleep. If you toss and turn all night, your brain is going to be negatively affected. So avoid the late-night caffeine, and if you have allergies or some other condition that affects sleep quality, see your doctor for solutions. In addition, there are also lots of inexpensive sleep aids that many people find helpful.

The following are some specific ideas on getting better sleep.
Go easy on caffeine during the day. If you drink more than two cups of coffee or the equivalent in soda during the day, your sleep at night is likely to be affected.
Darken your bedroom. Many people report sleeping much sounder in a very dark room. Evidently light waves are registered by the brain unconsciously, even when you are sleeping. If your brain thinks it’s daytime because of a light source (even a dim one like the light on the front of a DVD player or smoke detector), it might make your sleep more restless.Rather than fight with all potential light sources, I use a handy little tool called a sleep mask to keep my room “dark”. I actually received my mask for free during a long airline flight once. You’ve seen these masks - they cover your eyes in front and stay on your head using two elastic bands that go around your head.
Eliminate allergy problems. If your nose is clogged at night, your sleep is likely to be very restless. Like a lot of people, I have an allergy to all kinds of things that float in the air or live in fabric - pollen, ragweed, dust mites, you name it. The best way to defeat this that I’ve been able to find are flexible nose strips. These gently pull open your nostrils and allow you to breath more freely. Any grocery will have these.
Replace that mattress! I recently replaced my old, uncomfortable waterbed mattress with a new Spring Air mattress. It wasn’t cheap, but I have never slept better in my life.Look at a new mattress as an investment. You will spend one fourth to one-third of your life sleeping. Doesn’t it make sense to sleep on a bed that gives you a good nights rest? Those of you tossing and turning at night should think about whether your crummy mattress is the cause.
Listen to soothing music. In the evening and especially right before bed, play your favorite, most relaxing CDs. Relaxing the mind with music before retiring to bed is a very effective way to improve sleep quality.
Try journaling before you fall asleep. Many people (including me) keep a journal to record the many interesting things that happen each day. Journaling itself is a form of memory, since it provides you with a written memory of your life’s events. Journaling immediately before bed can help relax the mind in preparation for sleep.
Crank up the mood machine. Little noises during the night, such as an airplane flying overhead or a car passing by your house, can disturb the quality of your sleep even if you don’t consciously notice it. An easy way to drown out such noises is by using a mood machine to create “white noise” in the background. These devices usually allow you to select from a variety of soothing noises, including rain, waterfalls, ocean waves, and so on. You can find these at any Wal-Mart.
Take a hot shower or bath before bed. Hot water helps relax the body. Taking a hot shower or bath soon before you go to bed should help improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Avoid the midnight snack. Eating in the middle of the night will disturb your sleep once you go back to bed. The reason is now you have a glob of food on your stomach that you have to digest. If you must eat something, make it very light and protein-based - like a little cottage cheese or a protein powder drink.
Talk to your doctor. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep no matter what you try, then consider discussing your situation with your doctor. You might have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. (Don’t laugh, researchers believe that over 90 million Americans have some type of sleep-related disorder.)

Working on getting better sleep might actually be more important than trying to just find more time for sleep. If you absolutely cannot find more than six hours to sleep a night, it certainly makes sense to do whatever you can to get the most benefit from those six hours.
Getting More Sleep

Here are some ideas for finding more time for sleep. Sleep experts believe that most people need seven to eight hours of sleep a night to be fully rested.

See if you can get closer to the mark by trying some of these suggestions.
Log your sleep hours. If your schedule varies a lot, you may not actually know how much sleep you are getting. In a journal or notebook, each morning write down the number of hours of sleep you got the night before. (If you wake up for a midnight snack, for example, subtract that time.) At the end of the week, average the daily sleep hours to see how much sleep you are getting in an average night. That will give you some indication of how sleep deficient you really are.
Kick the late-night TV habit. In my view, TV-watching can be almost like an addiction for some people. They have to see their shows or else. But you have to decide which is more important - seeing all those episodes, or getting your brain in top shape for the next day.
Go easy on the late-night video games. Many students these days stay up too late just to play their favorite games. You have to be the judge on how much is reasonable, though. Don’t overdo it - you’ll pay the price the next day. If you have to play games at night, at least make them low-key, relaxing games. (Several are available for free right on this website.)
Take naps. Naps aren’t just for kids anymore. If you are lucky enough to have 20 minutes of free time in the afternoon, consider taking a nap to supplement the sleep you may be missing at night.
Cut back on hobbies. This is an individual choice, but be realistic - if your hobby is keeping you up too late at night, find ways of cutting b
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