Sleep well, think well (DW#699)

In Brain Rules, 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and SchoolJohn Medina outlines 12 principles for optimal brain health and function.

Guess which principle makes it to the top 3?


The principle he outlines is: Sleep well, think well.

He explains it very simply: Sleep loss = brain drain.

This is especially important for those of us who like to "burn the midnight oil" (students, take note!)

Medina explains: "One study showed that a highly successful student can be set up for a precipitous academic fall just by getting less than seven hours of sleep a night. Take an A student used to scoring in the top 10 percent of virtually everything she does. If she gets just under seven hours of sleep on weekdays, and about 40 minutes more on weekends, her scores will begin to match the scores of the bottom 9 percent of individuals who are getting enough sleep."

Ouch! It appears that most students would do better to sleep one more hour than to spend that time studying. (Especially since young people appear to need more sleep than the rest of us and are not great at actually getting the rest that they need . . .)

Peak performance experts actually go a step further: according to some experts just one night of good sleep is not enough to do your best. It is the night before the night before that important test that really matters.

In other words, get at least TWO good nights of sleep . . .

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