The Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep [VIDEO]

A scientific look at how sleep restructures your brain.

May 31, 2016

It’s 4am, and the big test is in eight hours. You’ve been studying for days, but you don't feel quite ready. Should you drink another cup of coffee and spend the next few hours cramming? Or should you go to sleep? In this informative five-minute clip from TED-Ed, neurologist Shai Marcu defends the latter option, showing how sleep restructures your brain in a way that’s crucial for how our memory works.

So what happens in your brain while you're sleeping that's going to help with tomorrow's exam? Far from just resting, as you drift of your body balances and regulates its vital systems. Among this work, it channels one fifth of its circulatory blood to the brain. It's this process that helps to move information from the fleeting short term memory for safe storage over in long term memory.

Convinced? Great. But when exactly should you go to sleep to maximize these benefits? Research has found that going to sleep three hours after studying is ideal.

Sleep well!

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