Every time we come face to face with a problem either at work or at home, we are often told to not stress over it or worry about it and rather we should try sleeping on it. Did you know that ‘Sleep on it’ is not just a phrase? Studies have shown how sleep can have an impact on how we respond to emotional situations. It also helps us in managing our mental health. In order to fully understand how sleep and emotions are connected, it is crucial to understand how our brain functions when we witness something emotional.
The emotional response is created by the interaction of two important regions in the brain, namely, the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex. The limbic system is rooted deep in our brain and is responsible for how we immediately react to a situation. It is therefore an emotional centre of our brain. However, the initial response that comes out of the limbic system needs to be adjusted and this is where the prefrontal cortex comes into play. The prefrontal cortex is situated right behind the forehead and helps in increasing or decreasing our emotional response as deemed necessary.
So if you ever came across an animal in the zoo, your limbic system will immediately think of it like a predator and you might panic, whereas, it is the Prefrontal cortex that tells us that since the animal is inside a cage, we do not need to panic. In order for the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex to work together, sleep plays an important role. If we are sleep-deprived, the connection between these two regions will be weakened.
Several studies have shown how lack of sleep gets in the way of making effective and managing our decisions. Consider someone who is experiencing a work problem. Now, if the person is sleep-deprived, they are likely to avoid dealing with the situation in the first place, whereas a person who has had a good sleep will be able to resolve the issue quickly and in an effective manner. This is why sleeping on it can help you analyze the problem in a better way.
Studies have also proven how good sleep can lead to less anxiety and stress. It also impacts our physical and mental well-being overall. It can also help in improving our memory processes, and attention.
So, make sure you are well-rested andsee the benefits of good sleep.
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