I’ve posted about sleep before – perhaps because I’ve struggled with it for much of my life – so I thought I’d share another interesting blog post I found today: scientists have long worked around the idea that sleep aids memory (I don’t know about you, but this would explain some pretty strange dreams I’ve had!), but this new theory looks at how sleep helps us process memories.
I’m a firm believer in the importance of a good night’s sleep – not too much and not too little – but it sometimes seems undervalued in the buzz of modern life. People who drift off as soon as their head hits the pillow take it for granted (and are eternally envied by me!), while for busy types, it can fall far down the list of priorities. Then there are people like me, for whom it doesn’t come easily – you lie there, eyes closed, trying to sleep … first it’s 30 minutes … nothing … then it’s an hour … then another hour goes by and you’re cursing yourself and the fact you’ve got to get up in five hours’ time. But what if we’re seriously damaging our physical and mental health by not sleeping well? And, if sleep plays an important part in memory, that must have implications for knowledge and education.
So, have a read of the article, it’s an interesting and slightly controversial theory, and make sure you guard your sleep time well.
As for my own sleep patterns, it’s not all bad: childhood insomnia is what made me such an avid reader from a young age. My poor parents, I drove them mad, being unable to sleep and waking them up every night. Then I learned to read and instead of bothering Mum and Dad, I’d consume book after book, re-reading them again and again when my supply of stories couldn’t keep up with demand. Alas, these days I have more demands on my time and can sleep better, so I read considerably less than I used to, but, still, the pattern for reading was set at a young age, thanks to insomnia, so perhaps I shouldn’t complain.