Have you ever thought of your alarm clock not only as a vital tool in managing your whole schedule but also as a time saver of your life? Maybe you think the following question every morning. If I woke up one hour early this morning, I could manage to complete my schedule in twenty-four hours, more efficiently than I would. But, according to sleep-deprivation tests, lack of sleep, even one hour, makes you unproductive and stressed instead of creative and relaxed through twenty-four hours.
The human brain needs adequate sleep time across the night to recover the human body, which is composed of many meters of intestines, many kilometres of nerves, over two hundred bones, and countless millions of cells(1). We all know that information as an inherited ability from our ancestors. Sleep was therefore known as a sacred part of the night by our ancestors, guarded by the Gods. Then, why most of the people suffer from diseases relative to sleep-deprivation, that was not common among our ancestors, during their daily life? According to sleep deprivation tests, there are lots of people, even doctors and nurses, affected by their changing brain structure during sleepless hours. The reason is as follows. The sleep-wakefulness control centers in the hypothalamus and the activating system in the brainstem cooperate to bring about our daily seesaw between sleeping and waking(2). And, however, we have forfeited that seesaw balance because of modern-life conditions.
There are two stages of sleep-NREM and REM-altering the brainstem to stimulate the formation of neurotransmitters triggering stress-control process, and the production of proteins that form the building blocks of memories within synapses. NREM and REM follow each other as a successor every ninety minutes in a replaying cycle. The technical name for this graphic is a hypnogram(a sleep graph)(3). Even our imagination depends on this amazing cycle created by Mother Nature. The reason is as follows. Dreams, mysterious and as well terrified, only emerge within REM sleep as a side-effect of memory solidification. Sleep loss breaks NREM and REM-sleep cycle and makes us stressed and unproductive during the day, causing a detrimental effect on the hypothalamus and brainstem. Sleep provides a nighttime theatre in which your brain tests out and builds connections between vast stores of information(4). It is like a prolonged exhibition of your memories across the day, showed by your hypothalamus and thalamus. In other words, in ways your waking brain would never attempt, the sleeping brain fuses together disparate sets of knowledge that foster impressive problem-solving abilities(4). In that regard, you could discern the new ways of conceiving, leading you to the pinnacle of your life. Sleep-deprivation, even one hour or forty-five minutes, induces cognitive impairments and memory loss by notoriously breaking the connection among synapses in the hypothalamus, like alcohol and drugs. Furthermore, your mental state and mood depend on your sleep habits. The reason is as follows. Sleep-deprivation perpetually causes a deterioration in dopamine production, which has a close relationship with the motivational and rewarding properties of psychostimulants(5).
If your brain is devoid of sleep, it always intercepts the most creative and sparkling thoughts travelling in your synaptic cleft in an irreversible way as regards the reduction of synapse-connection. Sleep can be either a gift or a tailor, as this eloquent tribute to sleep in Shakespeare’s Macbeth implies: “Sleep that knits the ravell’d sleave of care, / The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, / Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, / Chief nourisher in life’s feast. ”
(1) Edds, Jr., Mac. V. "Structure of The Body." The New Book Of Popular Science Vol-5. Grolier Incorporated, 1988. 158. Print.
(2) Laird, Donald A. "Sleep." The New Book Of Popular Science Vol-5. Grolier Incorporated, 1988. 396-397. Print.
(3) Walker, Matthew. "The Sleep Cycle." Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams. UK: Penguin Books, 2018. 43. Print.
(4) Walker, Matthew. "Sleep for Creativity." Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams. UK: Penguin Books, 2018. 132. Print.
(5) Cumming, Paul. "Motivation, craving and placebo." Imaging Dopamine. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009. 220-221. Print.
Figure - 11.1 By Sun Ladder - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10959166
Figure - 11.2 https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/meetings/annual-meeting/schedule-at-a-glance
Figure - 11.3 http://www.thepanicchannel.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/12f3376d00a6f09d6ae0607089d4f629-519x400.jpg
Figure - 11.4 By OpenStax College - Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site. http://cnx.org/content/col11496/1.6/, Jun 19, 2013., CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30148141
Figure - 11.5 https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1041/4674/files/Hours_1024x1024.png?v=1494952388
Figure - 11.6 https://www.magneticmemorymethod.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/brain-exercises-magnetic-memory-method-podcast.jpg
Figure - 11.7 By Jynto (talk) - Own workThis image was created with Discovery Studio Visualizer., CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20136658
Figure - 11.8 https://speedsleep.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/New-Research-Supports-Brain-Energy-590x548.jpg