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Article: What are the links between sleep and memory?

Le sommeil est essentiel pour consolider la mémoire.
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What are the links between sleep and memory?

Sleep is a major health issue because it ensures the proper functioning of the body. It involves several physiological mechanisms such as cellular regeneration, hormonal secretion, learning and even memorization. Good sleep is beneficial for physical, psychological and intellectual recovery.

Sleep and memory are therefore closely linked. First of all, sleep stimulates the brain to learn and receive new information. Then, it proceeds to consolidate this learning into a stable memory.

In the event of sleep disorders, cognitive abilities can be significantly impacted. They can impair attention and alertness, affect mood and emotions, and reduce imaginative and creative abilities.

In the long term, a lack of sleep also leads to other health consequences such as weight gain (or even obesity), a drop in immune defenses, metabolic disorders or even cardiovascular disorders.

It is therefore important to understand the importance of restful sleep for good health and maintaining stable and lasting memory.

 

Understanding sleep.

The different phases of sleep

During sleep, the brain goes through on average three to six cycles each lasting 1 to 2 hours. Each cycle is made up of three phases which are light sleep, deep sleep and paradoxical sleep.

Slow wave sleep, especially deep sleep, plays a very important role. It will prepare the brain to receive new information and consolidate previously encoded memories. This is called declarative memory (episodic and semantic).

REM sleep, for its part, strengthens procedural memory (motor and perceptual skills) as well as emotional memory.

The effects of sleep on memory

Sleeping well has many benefits for cognitive functions:

Restore learning abilities

First, sleep helps restore learning capabilities by resetting saturated storage circuits.

A part of the brain called the “hippocampus” plays an essential role in short-term memory. Like a “printer”, it passes data from short-term memory to long-term memory. It brings together all traces of memory to form memories.

Over the course of a day, the hippocampus becomes less efficient at learning. To remedy this, taking a nap (slow-wave sleep) is sufficient to restore learning abilities.

During sleep, the brain also restores working memory and attention, then cleans out accumulated toxins.

Consolidate a stable memory

Subsequently, during sleep, the brain transforms recent learning and sorts information. Some will be forgotten and others will be stored for the long term.

These latter, coming from the hippocampus, are transported to the cortex for lasting memorization. They are also incorporated into already existing memories and knowledge.

Understand the importance of sleep.

The impacts of a lack of sleep

 Sleep of insufficient duration or quality impacts the formation and consolidation of memory. If deep sleep is interrupted, it causes a declarative memory deficit (loss of memories and knowledge).

You should know that there is no ideal duration of sleep, it can vary from one person to another.

As we age, sleep becomes less deep and therefore weakens the consolidation of declarative memory. A brain region whose atrophy is responsible for this reduction, in particular because of difficulty falling asleep or waking up several times during the night.

Sleep disorders associated with age can also develop the brain degeneration of Alzheimer's disease, which leads to severe memory and learning problems.

Natural solutions to benefit from better sleep

In the event of sleep problems, you must first identify the problem responsible. It may concern stress, eating too large a meal, an uncomfortable environment (room too hot or too lit), a depressive state or even a sleeping illness (restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson's disease …).

To deal with it, the use of herbal medicine or taking natural food supplements represent an effective solution and are an alternative to chemical and heavy health medications (antidepressants and anxiolytics).

Délicure offers a “ Sleep ” cure in the form of vegan, natural gummies made in France. They are composed of melatonin (sleep hormone), vitamins (B5 and B6) and plants known to promote relaxation (linden, passionflower and poppy). Taking two gummies before bedtime helps make it easier to fall asleep and get better quality sleep.

If sleep problems persist over time, it is strongly recommended to consult a doctor.

Chew two gummies to enjoy a good night's sleep!

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