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When we turn in for the night, our brains are getting ready to go to work. Sleep provides our brain the time it needs to restore and recalibrate, and prepare to store new information we will need to recall for the next day.
When we are awake, our brains produce a chemical known as adenosine. It continues to accumulate during our waking hours. The brain monitors the level of adenosine to determine when it is starting to quiet down so that it can start repairing the areas of the brain that fire off synapses.
Strong and rested synapses carry more information and strengthen our memory. Neurons that are tired from constantly firing off synapses lose their ability to convey information, which results in decreased learning, and poor recall.
In other words, when we don’t get enough sleep, our brains can’t recharge. Therefore we can’t process the same amount of information, and we can’t recall as much information. When poor sleep habits become habitual, the brain loses its ability to recover, strengthen, and store more information, and we significantly compromise our memory.
How to Improve Your Sleep
Sleeping aids are just as harmful to the brain as sleep deprivation. Here are 5 natural ways to prepare for a good night’s sleep.
1: Avoid late-night eating.
Avoid eating up to 3 hours before going to bed. Your body needs time to digest, and foods are often loaded with sugar which throws off your sleep patterns. If you must eat late, choose a light, protein-rich food.
2: Avoid caffeine.
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