Focus: Your Key To Improving
In our fragmented modern world, it seems like focus is a precious commodity. With streaming music, internet clickbait, and frantic news headlines all clamoring for our attention, it can feel very difficult to keep ourselves on task. However, focus–the “selective attention” required to pay attention in class or power through a workday–is a necessity, especially for ambitious people. This leads many to turn to various methods for improving their attentiveness, from downing cup after cup of caffeinated beverages to sophisticated rituals to try to exclude distractions. But sometimes all those methods can fail for lack of something more basic: sleep.
How Improving Sleep Can Improve Focus
We can all understand how pulling an all-nighter can lead to feeling like a zombie the next day, but many of us don’t realize how much missing even a small amount of sleep can affect our cognitive ability. Check out these scary facts:
Lack of sleep makes you slower to react. This is what’s behind the notorious danger of driving while sleepy–your brain simply lacks the ability to respond quickly enough to events. This can be less dangerous, but still unpleasant, when you aren’t able to participate as well during a meeting or class after a late night because it takes longer for the gears in your head to turn.
Lack of sleep makes you forget things. Thinking of staying up to study for a big test? You’d probably be better off getting to bed. The mechanism in your brain that helps you retain information only works while you’re asleep.
Lack of sleep makes you angry and impulsive– not a good combination for getting ahead at work.
So what can you do to finally obtain the sleep that you haven’t been getting? Well, we recommend first taking a look at your mattress. Keep in mind that mattresses should be replaced at least every 10 years, and that as they lose support they can actually cause insomnia and musculoskeletal problems. And when you get your new mattress? Sometimes your mom’s advice really is right: shut off the devices, and get to bed on time!
Sleep, Learning, And Memory – www.healthysleep.med.harvard.edu
Choosing The Best Mattress – bettersleep.org