Sleep and Intelligence
Sleep to build a Foundation for Success.
The power of a deep sleep is regenerative to body and mind. By supporting your sleep quality, you can optimize your entire system including memory and focus. A daily practice that is a game changer, sleep can be your foundation for success. Your intelligence is supported by a brain optimized by good sleep.
WHAT IS SLEEP?
Sleep is a restorative process that is absolutely required for function. Sleep deprived animals and humans lose their ability to interact with reality in an appropriate manner. Well slept humans have better memory, faster reaction times, a more even mood, and less anxiety. The system of body and brain responds better to stress when well slept, creating a platform for your unique intelligence to operate with less distraction and greater efficiency.
So, in order to optimize sleep, let’s ask: what exactly is sleep?
FIRST CONSCIOUS MOMENT
Sleep is . . . sleep pressure.
Sleep starts when you first wake up in the morning. After this moment, the First Wake, your sleep pressure builds gradually through the day until you get a natural sleepiness at night. By waking the same time each day, you can powerfully reset your sleep schedule. If the waking up is getting out of bed and moving into the day, alert. Lying awake in bed is not as effective. So, the first step towards sleep is this important moment in your day, your first conscious moment. Your first opportunity to apply an active intelligence to your day.
Pearl of wisdom: Wake at the same time each day.
INNER SLEEP POTION
Sleep is . . . increased sleep molecules in the brain.
The pineal gland in the centre of your brain is where your sleep molecules are located. Here, the release of the molecules serotonin and melatonin and likely other molecules that we are not yet aware of, cause a cascade of sleepiness to occur in the brain. Sleep occurs as a reaction to a release of these Pineal Molecules - your internal Sleep Potion.
Your sleep molecules will have delayed release if you watch TV, your smartphone, the computer - any blue screen device. The blue light in many screens and devices halt the release of your Sleep Molecules through an elegant system designed specifically for balancing the state of alertness with that of sleep. This system has cells that are specialized to the sole function of triggering sleep versus alertness. They react to blue light by sparking alertness, and low light but allowing for drowsiness then sleep to occur by telling the Sleep Molecules to become active. When you have a situation of low light without blue light, it takes 2 to 3 hours for the Sleep Molecules to release.
Pearl of wisdom: Reduce or remove blue light in the 2 to 3 hours before bed.
Sleep is . . . a cyclical pattern.
Sleep is also defined by the rhythms of light and dark on planet Earth. Called the circadian rhythm, your body cycles its hormones and neurochemicals in tandem with the cycles of light and dark on the planet. Although you can sleep outside of the natural cycles, studies show that sleeping outside of the light-dark patterns disrupts systems in the body designed to otherwise optimize your brain.
When you are in sync, your sleep is deeper. Studies show that, when you get to bed before 11 pm , you reach a deeper stage of sleep and feel more refreshed the next day. In this deep stage of sleep, small cells called astrocytes “clean” the brain, removing metabolic by products. These metabolic by-products are the extra things created in the brain from neurons, the brain cells, being active. When more of these by-products are left in the brain, there is more risk of developing dementia. At a clinic that I work at, we see executives that are burning the candle at both ends start to develop early onset dementia - a dementia that happens too early, when people are as young as 40 years old. You need your sleep. By syncing up with circadian rhythms, you can literally protect your brain from deterioration. You also create a cleaner system and architecture, that provides a stronger platform for your intelligence to function.
Pearl of wisdom: Fall asleep before 11 pm at night. Figure out how to create a high quality stage of deep sleep.
HOW DO I OPTIMIZE SLEEP?
This is a great question. Very worthwhile. Sleep supports your intelligence and thus gives you the power to live your life according to your values and develop the kind of wealth that interests you - whether this wealth is loving connections, opportunity for travel, monetary wealth, humanitarian advances, innovative ability, or other. So knowing how to optimize sleep is one of your keys to success.
Sleep is very individual. Many facets of your life influence sleep. For full optimization, it’s best to work with a professional. If sleep difficulties are serious, then it’s useful to see a medical professional. To learn more, you may be interested to attend one of my sleep workshops, for wellness and optimization.
To increase your quality of sleep, try some of the pearls of wisdom above. Although there are many other steps to improving sleep quality, the above are some ways to get started. Look into sleep hygiene and sleep stimulus control. Also, pay attention to how your environment influences your sleep, from lighting to interactions with others, from food to exercise. Watch out for a few of the following which can decrease quality of sleep:
Wishing you the best, always,
Dr. M. ~