We all know that sleep plays an important role in memory, but how exactly does it impact the learning process?
Learning and sleep
Healthy sleep is essential for learning and memory function. According to research, sleep helps learning and memory in two ways:
- If you are sleep-deprived you can’t focus your attention and can’t learn efficiently.
- Sleep plays a role in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information.
Learning can be broken down into acquisition (the introduction of new information), consolidation (the processes through which a memory becomes stable) and recall (the ability to access the information after it has been stored). Each of these steps is crucial for precise memory function.
Acquisition and recall only happen during wakefulness, and memory consolidation happens during sleep when the neural connections that form memories are strengthened.
Sleep stages and memory
Early sleep and memory research focused on declarative memory or fact-based memory. Scientists considered that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, played a significant role in the acquisition of learned material as well as in declarative memory processes, provided the information is complex and emotionally charged.
Slow-wave sleep (SWS), which is deep, restorative sleep, also plays a vital role in declarative memory by processing and consolidating newly acquired information.
Sleep plays a critical role in learning new tasks that require motor coordination and performance. Motor learning seems dependant on the lighter stages of sleep, while certain types of visual learning depend on the amount and timing of deep, slow-wave and REM sleep.
Sleep deprivation and learning
When you are sleep deprived, your attention, focus and vigilance drift and it is more difficult to receive information. Over-worked neurons can’t function to coordinate information properly, and you lose the ability to access previously learned information. Furthermore, you lose the ability to make sound decisions because you can’t accurately assess the situation, plan accordingly, and choose the correct behaviour.
Sleep deprivation can also negatively impact your mood, which also has ramifications for learning.
Rest to remember
You can’t do your best if you don’t sleep your best and there’s no better sleep than on a Sealy. Visit our website today and find the right bed for you.
The ideal sleeping environment is a space that is safe, comfortable and relaxing. Engage your senses to create conditions that combine to give you the best night’s sleep.
Guided by sight
When it comes to sight in the context of a bedroom, it specifically relates to light and dark. For a good night’s sleep, especially when it comes to falling asleep, a dark room is the best. Avoid light from electronic devices and outside. Gradual exposure to light will lead to a gentler wake-up. If you have to choose, choose dark. After a good night’s sleep, you’ll wake up refreshed.
Tuned into sound
Some people need complete silence to fall asleep. Others may need white noise, calming music or a soothing voice. For these people, there are various apps that can be downloaded. Simply set a timer for the app to stop playing, turn on the “Do not disturb” feature on your phone, switch off the screen and place the device out of the way and relax. It is important that the external noise doesn’t continue throughout the night, as it can disturb sleep.
Comfortable earplugs are essential if you prefer silence, especially to block out snoring sounds or loud neighbours.
Feel the touch
Arguably the most important part of sleep is physical comfort and it starts with the correct mattress. Your mattress needs to be supportive and this becomes more important as you age. Naturally, you should always choose a Sealy.
Next, you need linens that feel good against your skin. A silk pillowcase can be cooling and is recommended for improved skin and hair condition. In winter you might want some brushed flannel sheets to cuddle up in.
Sheets, blankets and duvet are very personal preferences. If your covers are too warm, you’ll wake up sweating. Some people may also prefer a weighted blanket to calm the body.
Finally, open a window or keep your room cool, to drift off to sleep easily. A temperature of 15-21°C is recommended for optimal sleep.
The sweet smell of sleep
Aromatherapy can make a room more inviting and relax the body in preparation for sleep. A diffuser with pure lavender, vanilla, or ylang ylang essential oils, will calm the body and quiet the mind. If you use a diffuser with a tealight or an aromatherapy candle, make sure the flames are extinguished before you go to bed. You can also find a sleep or pillow spray mist at homeware and sleep stores.
If you need more advice on getting better sleep, including what size bed you should get, visit our website today.
We all know someone who turns into an irritable and snarky creature when they haven’t had enough sleep. Maybe you are that person. Sleep is essential for our health and ensuring our bodies function at their best. It also helps us being fresh and focused and affects all of our relationships. And we don’t mean only your romantic relationships.
These are the ways a good night’s sleep make us better people.
Sleep helps us avoid loneliness
We know that loneliness can lead to poor sleep, but did you know the opposite is also true?
Research has shown that people who had a bad night’s sleep want more space between themselves and strangers. This is because brain circuits associated with social repulsion react more strongly, while the firing or circuits that help us determine the intention of someone, are diminished. People who lack sleep are more socially avoidant and maintain greater social distances. As a result, the participants who slept less, reported feeling lonelier.
Sleep helps us empathise
Having emotional empathy means we can feel what another person is feeling. If a friend feels sad, the sadness resonates with you on some level and you want to try to make her feel happier.
Again, poor sleep negatively affects the parts of our brain devoted to emotional empathy.
Another research study showed that people who reported good sleep were significantly more empathic toward people in distress, even if they didn’t know those people. In a romantic relationship, this means a good night’s sleep will allow you to more accurately read your partner’s emotions and empathise better.
Sleep helps us be calm
A lack of sleep can take your irritability to the next level of aggressive and angrier behaviour.
Research participants who were split between maintaining or restricting their sleep over two days, were given difficult tasks to execute while in a noisy environment, bound to make them irritated. Those with less sleep became much angrier during the task and remained disturbed by the noise. Less sleep can also aggravate risk factors for aggression. Your anger may be completely out of control, you tend to brood over upsetting events or you might become hypervigilant of danger.
Sleeping better helps us have more self-control so we don’t lash out at others.
Sleep helps us be less prejudiced
This seems incredible, but a lack of sleep affects the mental processes involved in interacting with people who are different from us.
The previous points come into play. When you’re well-rested you are more willing to approach people, be empathetic and feel less prone to anger. These factors have all been tied to less discrimination in various studies. In addition, we’re less likely to feel rejected when we sleep better.
Be the best you
Everyone could benefit from being better rested and having well-rested people in their lives. Sealy knows that you can’t feel your best if you don’t sleep your best. Find out more about our commitment to sleep and discover your new bed today.
An overtired baby has a harder time falling and staying asleep. Find out how to know if your baby is overtired and what you can do to get your baby to sleep.
Getting a baby to sleep under the best of circumstances can be tricky, but when your little one is overtired, it can be even more difficult. That’s because overtired babies have a harder time settling down for sleep, sleep only intermittently and wake up more often throughout the night.
What to look out for
Overtired babies have a hard time settling down for sleep. They wake up more often during the night and this means they sleep less and less well. It becomes an exhausting cycle and sleep training an overtired baby is extremely difficult.
Sometimes there are obvious signs that your baby is overtired. Here are some of the more subtle signs to look out for:
- Your baby has a hard time settling down for sleep
- Your baby takes brief catnaps not full-blown naps
- Your baby doesn’t get a lot of sleep at night
- Your baby is very fussy or cranky
- Your baby seems unable to deal with pain or frustration
- Older babies are prone to more meltdowns
- Your baby falls asleep in the high chair while eating or when s/he’s placed in the stroller, even if it’s not naptime and at random times during the day.
How much sleep does your baby need?
This is how much sleep a baby needs by age:
- At 1 month old your baby should get 14 to 17 hours of sleep during the day. This is usually eight to nine hours at night with the balance as naps during the day.
- A 2-month-old baby needs to get a total of 12 to 16 hours of sleep a day, with most of it happening at night and four to eight hours in daytime naps.
- At 3 months your baby should get nine to 10 hours of sleep at night and a few one-and-a-half to two-hour naps during the day.
- By 4 months your baby’s daytime naps should total three or four hours and nighttime sleep should be between 10 and 11 hours.
- When approaching 6 months your baby should be sleeping between nine and 11 hours at night with two long naps during the day.
It’s easy to read these tips and more difficult to practice them. Hopefully, this will help you to prevent your baby from getting overtired.
- Watch for sleep cues such as eye rubbing, ear or hair pulling, crankiness and yawning. Put your baby down for a nap or bedtime as soon as you see these signs of being tired.
- Try to stick to a consistent bedtime routine at night and cultivate similar habits before naps. This will help your baby recognise the transition from awake time to sleep time.
- Stop overstimulating about half an hour before your baby’s sleep times. End playtime and move to a quiet area.
Getting an overtired baby to sleep
These are some strategies to try:
- Learn your baby’s sleep patterns. This depends on age, but try to get your baby down before his/her usual bedtime. Also, take note of your baby’s “wake windows” – the amount of time they can handle being awake. New-borns are generally only wide awake for a few minutes every hour and at three months babies should be able to stay awake for about two hours. Keep in mind that every baby is different.
- Even if your baby seems reluctant to sleep, go through your normal bedtime routine to signal it’s time for sleeping.
- If your baby is younger than eight weeks old, try swaddling and a dark, silent room.
Once your baby’s sleep routine is back on track you can consider sleep training.
Baby’s best sleep
Sealy’s baby cot mattresses are specially made for little ones, using only top quality, natural, non-allergenic materials. Find out more about the difference a cot mattress from Sealy makes.
The challenges currently facing the hospitality industry in South Africa and across the world are immense so why, you may think, would a change of beds make any difference?
Well, when you consider that it’s a bed that your guests will likely spend the most time on during their stay, it makes sense to provide one that is not only exceptionally comfortable and welcoming, but also one that is reassuring in terms of health and safety.
That’s where our beds demonstrate their clear superiority. With ranges that are specifically made to meet both the demanding needs of the hospitality industry and the desires of discerning guests, there is the guaranteed comfort that comes with having made the right choice.
Bravo Group Sleep Products manufactures three of the country’s most well-known and beloved brands – Sealy, Edblo and Slumberland – each with their own distinct character and construction. But when it comes to what’s required to meet the rigours of the hospitality industry they all have a few vital features in common.
Durability. Guests come in all shapes and sizes and they can be tough on beds, so it’s critical that our beds are made to last and deliver consistent levels of support at all times. To achieve this we add an extra level of robustness into the manufacture of our hospitality beds.
Comfort. The last thing any establishment wants is for a guest to have an uncomfortable night’s sleep. Our bed brands are built with a well-earned reputation for comfort – the kind that makes it a delight to go to bed at night, and a reward to wake up the next morning rested and refreshed.
Healthy. Perhaps more important than ever before, establishments need to reassure their guests that their beds are hygienic to sleep on – an area where our beds truly excel. No matter which of our brands you choose, your guests will enjoy the benefits of anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, bug shield protection.
Incorporating the latest advances in health-promoting fabrics and long-lasting protective treatments, our hospitality beds will provide guests (and you) with a high level of healthy reassurance at a time when it’s a top priority.
Given the heightened need to reassure guests that every step towards enhancing their protection and comfort has been taken, it would be a strategic move for establishments to replace their existing beds with ones that are made to meet the needs of a changing world. And to make it a selling point.