How a Good Night’s Sleep Can Improve Your Health – And Your Relationships
Oct. 23, 2015
It’s common knowledge that a poor night’s rest can be catastrophic for your health, but few chronically sleep deprived individuals fully understand just how beneficial bedtime can be. At Concorde we offer a Polysomnography Technology program, which highlights in detail the importance of sleep. With many aspiring polysomnography technicians aiming to help others sleep longer and better in hopes of achieving the following positive health outcomes:
The learning process consists of three main steps: acquisition (involving the introduction of new information), consolidation (the stabilization of acquired information), and recall (the eventual access of stored information). Acquisition and recall take place while you’re awake, but consolidation largely occurs after you’ve turned in for the night.
According to Harvard’s Division of Sleep Medicine, the neural connections that make up human memories are strengthened while sleeping. Different stages of sleep target different types of memory, so a solid night’s sleep that includes both rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and slow-wave sleep (SWS) is essential. REM sleep impacts the consolidation of procedural, or how-to memory, as well as the processing of fact-based declarative memory. Slow-wave sleep is also believed to play a role in declarative memory’s consolidation.
The memory consolidation that occurs during the REM and SWS phases of sleep restructures memories in a way that promotes new insights and enhances creativity. REM sleep plays a huge role in creativity; a study published by Cognitive Brain Research found that participants awakened from REM sleep had a significant advantage on anagram tests when compared to those woken up during other sleep phases.
You may be aware of the body’s natural release of human growth hormone (HGH) during periods of physical activity, but did you know that you also release the essential hormone while you’re asleep? The majority of sleep-based HGH releases take place during the slow-wave sleep stage. According to the National Sleep Foundation, HGH is essential for muscle growth. Thus, muscle gains can be maximized by taking on a well-rounded exercise routine — and following each workout with a good night’s sleep.
In addition to improving physical and mental health, quality sleep can strengthen romantic relationships. Psychology Today’s Melissa Orlov reports that couples who treat bedtime as something sacred sleep well at night and are very relaxed and comfortable with one another during the day. Orlov does not believe that quantity is the sole determiner of good sleep, so she advises couples to establish relaxing routines that allow them to sleep their way to better relationships.
Sleep strengthens the body and the mind in ways that remain difficult to understand. Although sleep studies have yet to unveil all of the mysteries of shut-eye, it’s clear that quality sleep is essential for good health. From creativity to muscle growth and everything in between, a solid sleep schedule can greatly enhance your overall health and wellbeing.
Prepare yourself to help others get a better night’s sleep through the Polysomnographic Technology program at Concorde.