Dr. Jessica Payne exposed an absurd truth about American culture: Our propensity to not only devalue sleep, but to also openly brag about how little we get. Imagine if people bragged about how little they exercised? And yet, sleep is part of what she calls the health “Holy Trinity” along with a good diet and adequate exercise.
She also made it very clear that your brain is not powered down while you are sleeping. The term sleep itself is somewhat deceptive as sleep is really a series of distinct phases your brain experiences during the course of the night. During Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep, areas of the brain such as the hippocampus and amygdala are more active than they are during waking hours.
While discussing the phases of sleep and their brain activity, Dr. Payne highlighted not only what goes on inside the brain, but also how it improves your performance during waking hours. For instance, during slow-wave sleep, the very first deep sleep of the night, your brain conducts memory consolidation which in turn improves your memory. Adequate sleep also improves creativity, emotion regulation, and stress resistance.
From what is good for you to what is good for our planet–join the Vail Symposium on Monday, February 24 when we host a panel of experts as they tackle how to power our future while reducing harmful emissions.
See Dr. Payne’s presentation slides here