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BRAIN RULE RUNDOWN

Rule #7: Sleep well, think well.

  • When we’re asleep, the brain is not resting at all. It is almost unbelievably active! It’s possible that the reason we need to sleep is so that we can learn.
  • Sleep must be important because we spend 1/3 of our lives doing it! Loss of sleep hurts attention, executive function, working memory, mood, quantitative skills, logical reasoning, and even motor dexterity.
  • We still don’t know how much we need! It changes with age, gender, pregnancy, puberty, and so much more.
  • Napping is normal. Ever feel tired in the afternoon? That’s because your brain really wants to take a nap. There's a battle raging in your head between two armies. Each army is made of legions of brain cells and biochemicals –- one desperately trying to keep you awake, the other desperately trying to force you to sleep. Around 3 p.m., 12 hours after the midpoint of your sleep, all your brain wants to do is nap.
  • Taking a nap might make you more productive. In one study, a 26-minute nap improved NASA pilots’ performance by 34 percent.
  • Don’t schedule important meetings at 3 p.m. It just doesn’t make sense.