How sleep affects your cognitive abilities


There’s nothing like getting a good night’s sleep to make you feel ready for the day ahead. You’re never yourself when you’re too tired to function, and that’s a proven fact. A lot of research has been done into the effects of sleep deprivation on your cognitive abilities, and the findings are pretty intriguing. So, the next time you think about pulling an all-nighter, you might want to consider what effect that will actually have on your brain.

How sleep affects your cognitive abilities

It reduces your reaction times

The less sleep you get at night, the slower your reactions are. That’s because it takes more time for your brain to realize what’s happening and respond to the situation. This can actually be extremely dangerous, especially if you put yourself in a position where quick reaction times are essential. For instance, if you’re behind the wheel of a car, you want to be alert enough that you can respond to an issue quickly enough. Being too slow could cause you to crash and lead to injury or loss of life.

You simply can’t focus

Trying to pay attention to something is extremely difficult when you’re tired. All you want to do is close your eyes and go back to sleep, instead of tackling the task at hand. That can be detrimental to your productivity at work because you don’t have the energy to get through your various jobs. If you start slacking, there’s a good chance that your boss will call you up on your poor performance, and they’re not going to take lack of sleep as an acceptable answer. Not unless you have a good reason for being tired all the time.

No more creativity

A lot of jobs these days require employees to be creative with their work. If a company wants to stand out and do something that’s not been done before, they have to be as innovative as possible. Unfortunately, if everyone’s too tired, then they’ll never be able to achieve this. When someone gets a good night’s sleep, they give their brain the rest it needs to start getting creative again. Depriving it of rest only reduces your alertness and forces you to keep running into brick walls in your head. That’s the last thing you want when you’re at work.

How sleep affects your cognitive abilities

Losing all your memories

One of the reasons why sleep is so important is because it allows your memories to be transferred from short-term to long-term storage. The whole time you’re asleep, your brain is processing that information and tucking it away somewhere that it won’t be lost. Waking up too early disrupts that process and therefore makes you more forgetful than usual. That’s why new parents often struggle with memory because they keep getting woken up by their baby wanting attention. Unless you wish to become a bit of an amnesiac, you should probably start sleeping more.

It turns out that sleep isn’t just an enjoyable experience – it’s vital for our brains. Not getting enough of it can really mess up your head, and that’s not something you need if you’re trying to bring home the bacon. Give your body the rest it needs!