Sleep is probably the most important thing you do in any given day. Sleep not only enables us to maintain a positive work/life balance and helps maintain our health and exercise regiments, it also allows our brains to cycle through different phases of activity that allow it to recuperate from the day.
In this TED Talk, sleep scientist Penny Lewis discusses her studies into manipulating our sleep patterns. By learning how to engineer our sleep, we can unlock problem-solving ability, improve memory, slow down the brain’s aging process, and reduce the possibility developing of Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Sleep patterns change as we age. As a result, our amount of Slow Wave Sleep decreases. By the time we are 60, we lose this cycle of sleep altogether.
The secret to avoiding this is understanding Slow Wave Sleep. Slow Wave Sleep is the period of sleep between Light Sleep and before REM Sleep. During this cycle, brain capillaries widen so that more cerebral fluid is flushed through the brain. This washes away toxins that, when they build up, create plaque that has been shown to lead to memory loss and have a roll in the development of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.