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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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