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This Is What Happens To Your Brain When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

This Is What Happens To Your Brain When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

It seems these days as if everyone has their noses to the grindstone. The number of people that pass out too late and wake up early is shocking right now. It almost as if many have dropped their sleep hours from 8 to just 5.

While it can be easy to operate for a day or two on a lack of sleep, the long-term effects can be detrimental. One big problem is that we can get used to not sleeping enough. After all, why do we need to worry about being a bit sleepy every once awhile?

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How Lack Of Sleep Affects The Pre-frontal Cortex

Sleep is imperative to allow the brain to function properly. Many of the remaining body functions can regenerate with relaxation, but not the brain. There was a research done that shows that the pre-frontal cortex becomes more active the more rested people are. It’s one of the main reasons as to why you feel so rested after a short nap. It’s because you gave your brain a jolt of energy.

So with that being the case, you can imagine what happens without the proper amount of rest, your pre-frontal cortex gets exhausted. Now, the reason why this is such an issue is the fact that this part of the brain is extraordinarily important. In particular, that part of the brain attributes your judgement, impulse control, attention and visual association. More or less, when the pre-frontal cortex gets tired, you get loopy. You begin to get super hyper, you develop poor judgement, you can develop hallucinations and more. Being loopy also makes it very difficult to stay focused, as well as do things that normally you wouldn’t. Meaning, you would normally control your impulses, yet that can completely vanish when the pre-frontal cortex is exhausted.

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MRIs Results To Show The Effects

Lately, Researchers have been using MRIs to help them understand how sleep affects the brain.

What’s more, they show that it starts to kick in 16 hours into a bout of not getting enough sleep. What that means is -16 hours of you being active without the proper sleep (even if you’ve gotten some sleep during this time) is going to start messing with your ability to function. The craziest part is the fact that the different parts of the brain rest during different phases of sleep. So taking a nap that’s too long will screw with you differently then sleeping for 6 hours. This concludes that you absolutely need to have the proper sleep cycle whenever you go to bed.

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Sleep Deprived Brain

    Hit the Reset

    It leads to an interesting idea that the 8 hours of sleep isn’t just to cool your jets. It essentially allows you to hit the reset button, to let your mind recuperate from all the stress it goes through every day. Think about it, most of your body can rest simply from sitting down. Your brain doesn’t have that option, it has to be active and awake all day long.

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    We spend so much time making sure that our physical health is up to par that we can sometimes forget the whole things operated by our minds. You owe it to your brain to make sure you get the perfect amount of sleep. It can be tough with twice as much work and half the time to do it, but do get out of there. Only you can make sure that your brain maintains its health.

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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    Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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