To Sleep Or Not To Sleep Early

Sleeping early. These 2 words somehow elude many students, employees and professionals alike. Sleep deprivation has worsened to the point that some of us might be asking ourselves, “What is sleep?” I’ll do you one better – “Why is sleep?” Seriously, many of us now find the concept of sleeping early foreign. We actively forgo it for work, study and commitments, even though we knew all this while the consequences of doing so. Forgoing sleep has adverse impacts on our health in the long term and would reduce our ability to concentrate in the short term. Without the ability to function at peak performance, we are less able to learn and chase after success. Thus, I can safely say, to sleep or not to sleep early is to sleep early. In this article, we will be detailing why this is the case. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

#1: Sleeping Early Keeps Your Mind Healthy

As you slumber, your body parts are working hard to regenerate themselves. New cells are regenerated and dead cells are removed, while your brain and other organs work hard to detox themselves. All in all, your body slowly recharges itself and prepares for a new day. This is especially important for the brain. During sleep, neurones decrease in size by up to 60%, increasing the space between them for waste and toxic materials to be washed away easily. In fact, the brain removes significant amounts of a toxic protein known as amyloid-beta, which is involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, science has shown that sleep and learning are closely linked. Here, new memories are processed and consolidated in the brain, as neurones in the hippocampus repeat the activation patterns that took place while the individual was conscious. This helps to transfer short-term memories held in the hippocampus to other parts of the brain, so as to facilitate the formation of long-term memories. Thus, missing out on sleep could cause one’s learning ability to decline by as much as 40%. That is something that you clearly want to avoid!

#2: Detoxification Of Body Parts

The brain is not the only that needs to clean itself. Sleep affects almost all tissues and organs in the body, from your heart to your skin. As mentioned above, your brain has something called a Glymphatic system which involves the shrinking of neurones so as to create room for toxins to be flushed out. Meanwhile, the body also secretes hormones, which decreases one’s breathing rate and promotes muscle relaxation. On the other hand, sleep deprivation increases inflammation levels, which restricts the body from effectively cleansing itself. The removal of toxic materials allows the unrestricted movement of essential substances and oxygen, which ultimately aids in the regenerative processes of the body. Missing out on sleep impedes the aforementioned processes, which may even cause the stunting of growth in children.

#3: Sleep Improves Immunity

Since sleep affects nearly every part of the body, it is no surprise that it also has a tremendous impact on our immune systems. Consistent sleep increases one’s immunity, while a lack of sleep increases the risks of diseases. When T cells detect an infected cell, they activate integrins, which allow them to adhere to and destroy the latter cells. The T cells of consistent sleepers have been shown to have higher levels of integrin activation than those of sleep-deprived individuals. Moreover, stress hormones may even restrict the functions of T cells in poor sleepers. High concentrations of these hormones may in turn decrease the ability of T cells to kill pathogens, thus weakening the body’s immune system. Another example is the fact that the body releases cytokines, in the presence of infection and inflammation, which help to fight diseases. Without adequate sleep, the body will not be able to produce as much of these cytokines and antibodies. During periods of sickness, the body utilises more energy so as to battle infections and eradicate diseases. This means that the body will have less energy on hand for other processes. During these times, sleep is of paramount importance as it helps to conserve energy and resources.

Conclusion

After reading this article, were you surprised by how important sleep is? Why or why not? Will you be sleeping earlier now? Jot down your comments in the comment section below! Thanks for reading! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for more.

Here’s Why You Should Listen To Classical Music

So, many of you might have noticed that is the 3rd post for this week. You might ask, “What? I thought you said that you would be only blogging once every two weeks or sometimes maybe once a week?” (check out my blogging plans for 2021 at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/28/my-blogging-plan-for-2021/) Well, I figured that since I have some free time, why not blog? After all, it’s my passion!


Right, so let’s focus on the subject matter at hand. For this post, let us discuss the reasons as to why you should try listening to classical music. For instance, classical music has been shown to stimulate the mind and improve sleep quality. I personally listen to classical and orchestral music whenever I read or complete a task. You might say, “Hey! Classical music is boring and old! How could I possibly enjoy it?” While it is true that classical music might be considered old, they are gems of the past and are worth listening to. This article will show you why. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. (Do fill in your email in the newsletter registration section of the website) Without further ado, let’s begin.

#1: It Improves Sleep

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Studies have shown that listening to classical music helps to improve sleep. It helps to relax the mind and remove anxiety, thereby making sleeping easier. Research has shown that listening to classical music reduces nervous system activity, decreases anxiety and blood pressure. It helps to distract you from your thoughts and relaxes your muscles, getting you in the mood to sleep. This effect is corroborated and confirmed by the fact that children of all ages, including infants and school-going children, sleep better after listening to relaxing, classical music. Below is a list containing some of the best pieces of relaxing classical music to help you sleep.

  • Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy
  • Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt
  • Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie
  • Nocturne No.2, Op.9 by Chopin
  • Moonlight Sonata, 1st movement by Beethoven

#2: It Improves Memory

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As mentioned above, the relaxing effect of classical music not only helps to improve sleep, but also improves memory. Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to memorise or learn something when you feel stressed? You’re not alone. Anxiety makes memory formation and retrieval more difficult, and stress has been shown to be one of the prominent causes of neurone death. Yes, you saw it correctly. Stress has been shown to kill brain cells and reduce their ability to function properly. On the other hand, listening to classical music has been shown to enhance memory retrieval and helps to trigger and strengthen neural pathways, thereby strengthening synapses between the respective neurones.

“Neurones that fire together, wire together.”

Donald Hebb

#3: They Are Precious Relics Of History

Photo by Fillipe Gomes on Pexels.com

There is a reason to why classical music was able to stand the test of time. Some of the greatest classics still continue to be played and enjoyed by many. The classical period has produced some of the most legendary pieces of all time, which never fail to captivate audiences and listeners of every age. In fact, many of these pieces are used as background music in movies and musicians of all kinds are required to study them, with good reason.

Conclusion

Classical music still plays an important role in the evolution of culture and heritage. For many, it has become an integral part of their lives, something they can’t live without. For musicians, the classical period is an essential part of musical history that has helped to shape our overall understanding of music and its associated cultures. This is exactly why classical music is something you and I should listen to. If you did enjoy this post, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe my newsletter if you haven’t done so. Stay tuned for my next articles!

Why Exams Are Useless

Exam” is a four-letter dirty word no student wants to hear. Ever since its inception, it has been associated with stress and competition. Many students dread the daily trip to school all because of it. It’s also frightening to see the school curiculum revolving around exam preparation and nothing more. In my opinion, examinations themselves are not the problem as they also serve as a method for students to gauge their learning ability. What renders exams useless is the way society views exams. To most people, grades are all there is to an exam and failure is not an option. As a result, many take an exam for the sake of taking it or just to attain a grade to show off to everyone. As result, exams become “do-or-die” as students feel stressed due to the fear of failure and humiliation. This completely defeats the purpose of examinations. In this article, I will discuss how and why exams have become useless in the modern world. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to the newsletter!

Advertisements

Reason #1: Unnecessary Stress

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Because of the way society views examinations, students are pressured to excel and succeed. It’s now all about the ‘A+’ on the report card and nothing more. In the mind of a student, his/her success is wholly dependent on his/her educational qualifications. As a result, many students go to extreme measures just to obtain a desired grade. This includes forgoing sleep, long study hours and endless tuition classes. Instead of allowing students to enhance their learning, examinations now do more damage to their mental and physical wellbeing. Only if society learns not to treat failure as the end can learning be possible. Schools should also not focus solely on exam preparation and cut down on the content tested at one time.

Advertisements

Reason #2: The Joy of Learning is Taken Away

Photo by Max Fischer on Pexels.com

Students are now given piles and piles of homework, forced to study many subjects and take exams they clearly dread. Learning now becomes confined to mere memory, answering techniques and essay writing skills. Instead of cultivating students who are attuned to the world and are enthusiastic to learn, schools produce students who have been trained to become answering machines in every respect – “If A, then B; if question asks X, I give Y.” For the joy of learning to be present in the classroom and beyond, society needs to place less emphasis on the importance of academic qualifications and a person’s learning abilities. Now, students memorize heaps of knowledge just to regurgitate it on the exam paper. In fact, most students forget all the knowledge they have learnt right after an exam and do not follow up on it, unless a future exam requires it. Evidently, most students of the modern world do not possess curiosity or the desire for learning. If you would like to learn more about the importance of curiosity and how it is relevant in the modern world, check out my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/07/the-importance-of-curiosity/.

Advertisements

Reason #3: Exams Become a Race to the Top

Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU on Pexels.com

Instead of learning for themselves, students now, in a sense, learn for others. Due to the fact that society places so much emphasis on academic success, exams become a platform to show off their intellectual prowess. Students work themselves to the bone just to beat each other and become the best among their peers. Learning now becomes all about winning. Because of this, those at the top start to become arrogant while those who are struggling at the bottom are looked down on. The truth is, life is not all about winning or losing. It is better to be at the bottom and be contented than be at the top and be unhappy. All men strive for happiness, do they not? There is no point in learning if it brings no happiness. Rather than focusing on having their students achieve academic excellence, schools should focus on cultivating the joy of learning in students. It is better to have average but enthusiastic and happy students rather than disgruntled and insecure students who have ‘A+’s everywhere.

Advertisements