• The Sound Sleeper

Achieve peak performance through sleep

You’re giving a presentation at work, your spouse’s softball team has a big game coming up and your child has a piano recital. The secret to top performance? A good night’s sleep! Biologic processes are working hard while we sleep to support the physical and mental aspects of the next day’s activities.

Mental — it’s all about memory, motivation and mood

Sleep organizes memories from your day. Get a good night’s sleep before a day of learning and after learning something new.

The brain also consolidates motor learning during sleep, improving “muscle memory.” So if you’re learning to play an instrument, you’ll benefit from the muscle memory in your fingers as well as the memorization needed for the music.

Motivation and mood are other important components of the learning process. If you are sleep-deprived, you’re less motivated to learn and your mood suppressed, making it hard to acquire and remember new information.

Looking to up your creative game? Sleep can help there, too. Your brain finds links between seemingly unrelated concepts, helping you solve complex problems and develop new, creative ideas.

Physical — sleep is your recovery tool

Sleep has an anti-inflammatory effect that allows the body to replenish muscle function and grow and repair tissue. Chemicals in the brain coordinate to conserve and restore energy needed for physical activity the next day. Muscle coordination also improves with sufficient sleep.

Putting it all together

Almost any activity has mental and physical components, so wherever you’re looking to gain an edge, use sleep as your new performance tool.
Sources: Harvard Medical School, Sleep Foundation, Namni Goel, et al. (2009) Semin Neurol.

Your ability to learn new things drops 40% when you don’t get enough sleep, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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