“Sleep on it” is a common advice given to a person in an upsetting or difficult situation, especially if it requires a decision. Besides being good advice, sleep has scientifically been proven to benefit our brain activity. This Globe and Mail article tells us why:
Getting extra sleep, a recent study found, really does produce better test results than using the time to crack the books. Sleep even keeps us svelte – when tired, we’re much more likely to be seduced by salty French fries.
Adults’ bad habits, she says, are setting an unhealthy pattern because kids get the message that sleep is “a waste of time.” But good diet and exercise won’t make us healthy, if we don’t sleep well at the end of every day.
Research elsewhere is exploring how sleep is different for people with mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Several papers published last year used MRI scans to show that, when people were short on sleep, the higher-thinking region of the brain that dictates food choices was impaired, leading them to crave sweeter and saltier tastes. Research is also revealing the potential long-term implications of poor sleep – another recent study found a link between sleep and insulin resistance in teenagers, which could affect the risk of diabetes later in life.