By Mads Nielsen
We Sleep or We Die
Sleep is the most important fuel for our body, but lately I’ve been running on fumes.
The other day I read an article that made me think twice about my sleep routine, which is currently nonexistent. Until now I’ve lived by George Louis’ advice; ‘train your body to not need sleep, so you can do more’, and at the time it made sense.
Surely it works in periods, but after reading that article I realised sleeping doesn’t necessarily mean taking a break. It can be used to ideate. Before coming to school most of my ideas came to me in the middle of the night, probably because that was the only time I allowed myself to truly relax.
However lately sleep hasn’t been relaxing, it’s been more of a necessity.
Unfortunately bad sleep kills the brain. It hinders the the brain repairing itself from all the mental kicks it’s taken during the day.
Theoretically there are four stages of sleep: N1 N2 N3 and REM sleep. Together with N1, REM is the lightest stage of sleep you usually go through in middle of the night. In this stage your brain activity is similar to the level it is at when you are awake.
N2 and N3 is the stage where you more or less passed out.
It doesn’t take much more than 10 minutes from going from N1 into the deep part of sleep (N2 and N3)
It’s during REM sleep your brain strengthens its procedural memory. That is the memory that remembers rehearsed memories, like learning how to play the piano, or performing the perfect golf swing.
The deep sleep (N2 and N3) which you go into quite quickly reinforces your factual memory. This is your ability to remember concrete knowledge, such as a language or a song.
With this in mind the next time we have a great masterclass, you can be sure to find me taking a powernap in a corner somewhere straight after.