A key function of sleep that we don't talk about

One key function of sleep that we don't talk about and may be affecting you is something called 'the executive brain.'


Have you heard of it?


A lot of people think that sleep is a bit like flicking off a light switch. In fact, our brains are remarkably active when we sleep.


There is one key function of sleep that hardly anyone talks about which may be having an impact on you.


This is the executive brain. It is responsible for weighing up immediate rewards and temptations verses our long-term goals. This is where our self-control comes from. A good night's sleep replenishes the executive brain meaning you wake up with a fresh supply of self-control.


Reduced sleep means reduced self-control. You might notice this as it can lead to behaviours like scrolling, binge watching shows, or getting easily distracted rather than doing what we originally intended.


In short, reduced self-control means less emotional regulation. This can make us feel like we have a shorter fuse, or easily exasperated when we have under-slept.


Reduced self-control also means not being able to master the energy to do certain tasks leading to increased procrastination. And actually, one of the things that we might procrastinate over is going to sleep the following night, and staying up doing things that provide immediate rewards.


You got that right, reduced sleep means more bedtime procrastination. This then leads to even less sleep and self-control making you more likely to procrastinate going to sleep the next night. Thus creating a vicious cycle!


If this hits home with you, consider prioritising your circadian rhythm and your sleep hygiene. Comment below or send me an email if you'd like a separate post going into tips and strategies in more detail.

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