3-2-1-Go to sleep – Here’s Why…

In light of National Sleep Awareness Week we are starting a series on Sleep, so stay tuned each week as we unravel more and more of the nitty gritty on why we need it, risks we are taking when we’re not getting enough of it, and what YOU can do about it.


3-2-1-Go to Sleep! Here's Why...National sleep awareness week logo


68% of Americans struggle with sleep…and Pastors are not immune.

Learn from some of the top Doctors in wellness – Dr. Rhonda Patrick and Dr. Matt Walker:

“Sleep is a foundational bedrock for our ability to learn from experience…

Without sufficient sleep, our ability to learn – the acquisition of new memories – begins to rapidly break down. And yet, this is only one of the major roles we now appreciate that sleep has. Sleep is critical to learning and survival because it facilitates a process similar to the input, storage, and transfer of data in a computer.
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Sleep preps the brain for information input…

The formation, or “encoding,” of memories occurs when the brain engages with new information – ideas, actions, or images – and leads to the formation of a representation of this information in the brain. Sleep preps the brain so that it can assimilate this new information and lay down the framework for new memory traces. Without sufficient sleep – in particular, the slow wave sleep that occurs during the stage of non-rapid eye movement, or NREM – the brain’s ability to receive new input is markedly impaired. This phenomenon has critical implications in students and has been observed when college students who were deprived of sleep experienced dramatic deficits in their ability to learn new information.

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Sleep facilitates information storage…

Sleep also facilitates the more permanent storage of new information that has been stored in the hippocampus – the region of the brain responsible for the formation and consolidation of short-term memories. Sleep that occurs after exposure to new information fulfills the role of the brain’s “save button.”

Poor sleep, however, inhibits the brain’s ability to form memories. Dr. Walker and his colleagues believe that this might be a quality of a time-limited capacity for hippocampal storage. Wakefulness that exceeds the typical 16-hour day might effectively outstrip this region’s capacity for short-term storage of information.

Sleep provides the transferring of short-term memories to long-term memories…

The intake and storage of mere short-term information are insufficient for optimal learning. The final, and perhaps most critical, way in which sleep aids in learning is that it provides a mechanism by which new information can be permanently stored – the formation of long-term memories via transfer to the brain’s cortex, where they can be retained and then retrieved for future use. Without this transfer phase, we run the risk of hippocampal-associated memory impairment – a problem readily observed in older adults who experience loss of slow wave sleep and subsequently demonstrate difficulty retaining memories overnight.”
3-2-1-Go to sleep! Here's Why...diagram of the brain

Next week we will be learning more from these doctors about Sleep & Cognitive Decline Awareness.

To dig in and learn more about this topic, watch Dr. Rhonda’s podcast with Dr. Matt Walker HERE.