The Importance of Sleep, Again

I've written about the importance of sleep before, but I'm lecturing on sleep in intro psych so it's on my mind again. Actually, it's on my mind a lot--every day. That's because I haven't slept through the night in over a year. (This past week has been especially hilarious: the baby has actually had a few good nights sleep-wise, but on those nights, my other daughter has woken up in the middle of the night--needing Dada to help her get back to sleep. I totally get the irony of lecturing on the importance of sleep when I'm likely the most sleep-deprived individual in the room.)

What's worse is that I've been reading a lot of really good research showing just how important it is to get a good night's sleep. The Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) has an annual meeting showcasing a huge amount of interesting work on sleep. At their meeting in June, 2009, one study in particular caught my eye (and the attention of some journalists and bloggers). It was found that sleep quality (not quantity, per se) was correlated with math scores. That is, the better your sleep, the better your scores on math exams. English scores went up, too. You don't think you can affect the quality of sleep you get? Sure you can: sleep on a regular schedule, don't pull all-nighters, and don't have a baby who wakes up every couple of hours. (OK, maybe that last one is a bit hard to do.)

Sleep also has been shown to aid memory: "Sleeping on it" may just be the best way to remember something. And in another widely reported finding, sleep quality turned out to be important for learning in general, and for learning vocabulary in particular. Ya, more gooder sleeps does to help your talking goodly-like and knowing the betterer words.

Ugh, I need a nap.

Why aren't you studying?


Anonymous said...

Those who get good grades get to sleep soundly at night while those who get bad grades spend their sleepless nights reading their professor's blog.

Hello, Professor.

A. Nonymous said...

@Anonymous - that comment has made my day!

tzongyih said...

sleeping is so good..
I think I have to sleep more frequent too..hehe.
Thanks for your sharing.

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