Our mind is capable of doing various things. It performs incredible tasks like controlling body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and breathing, handles physical movement, it lets you think, dream, reason and experience emotion, acquire loads of information from senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch and the function of Central Nervous System which is consists of brain, the central of thought and the spinal cord that connects from the brain to control the body movement. To keep this performance function well, human-being is in need of sleep.
One thing that comes up in our mind when the word “brain” is uttered is “thinking”. The brain is used to think, to reason and to dream. All the information collected is being stored in the memory. In remembering, the brain calls on memory network instantly. The hippocampus (plays an important role in forming, storing, and processing information from short-term memory to long-term memory) and other parts of the brain to work together and restore the memory. It works by first, the consciously registers the memory which is the process called encoding. A memory can only be a memory and retrieving it can make the brain function powerful. Having the right amount of sleep helps in cognitive process, eating food with complete nutrient to perform well and exercise to divert the amount of oxygen and nutrients to the brain that challenging it to learn new things.
Catnapping is having a short period of sleep that helps in memory retention. Taking a nap helps to clear information out of your brain’s temporary storage areas, getting ready for new information to be absorbed. “Scientists do know that there are big changes in the brain just as a person falls asleep,” said Matthew Tucker, a researcher at Harvard University School of Medicine and the Center for Sleep and Cognition at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. The brain uses sleep as a time to consolidate memories and to choose which to be remembered and to forget because the brain has limited storage space and the brain set aside memories for long-term memory storage. “During sleep, the brain “gets rid of what you don’t need so that during the next period of wakefulness, you’re ready to acquire more information,” said Dr. Mark Mahowald, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Minneapolis and a professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Sleep is important to boost memory and improve cognitive function. It helps in repairing the brain and reset in order to function well for the next day. When sleep deprivation occur, the brain function decrease which result to unable to focus and cant exhibit attention. “A 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep,” Brice Faraut of the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité. “Napping may offer a way to counter the damaging effects of sleep restriction by helping the immune and neuroendocrine systems to recover,” Faraut said. Napping is good even to the very young age. It is essential for children who are still growing and developing. A University of Colorado Boulder study showed that toddlers between two and a half and three who missed a single daily nap showed more anxiety, less joy and interest, and a poorer understanding of how to solve problems. While children build up sleep pressure more quickly (the desire to need to sleep) due to highly active and connected brains, the same problems can be seen in adults who don’t get in a daily nap. It is also powerful gem for people who have jobs. Studies show that power naps, short 10 to 15 minute naps, improve mental efficiency and productivity, which is a small investment in time for such a big payoff in company morale and production.
Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough of sleep that can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and weight loss or weight gain. Sleep deprivation induces significant reductions in performance and alertness. Reducing your nighttime sleep by as little as one and a half hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32%. This affects on acquiring information at school when listening to the professor. Decreased alertness and excessive daytime sleepiness impair the memory and the cognitive ability to think and process information. It makes an average individual unable to participate in certain activities that require sustained attention. It can also cause automobile injury where the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates conservatively that each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities. It affects our health by causing cardiovascular diseases, obesity, anorexia, depression and brain damage.
It is important to take a nap especially when sleep deprived. It can’t compensate the loss sleep but it can help to attain energy to focus and attention. It can help students during the preparation for examination. For example, a glass of water is filled halfway, and you put excess to fill it up the tendency would be, the glass would be filled and spilled some of it. The excess became useless. It can be likened to a memory. In studying, a student filled up his brain with memory of learning and facts to be used in examination. When he collected memory halfway, he must stop and take a nap in order relax his brain and getting ready to attain upcoming learning. This helps to avoid cramming and forgetting what have been studied. Catnaps are done in short period of time. Excessive naps leads to sleep inertia. Sleep inertia is the feeling of waking up groggy and feeling more tired. A person became at a reduced level of capacity and may have trouble doing simple everyday actions. ’’Since brain temperature and blood flow to the brain decrease during this sleep stage, it’s jarring to suddenly be awake and experiencing much higher rates of brain activity. There is no benefit to napping longer than 90-minutes, as you will only begin another sleep cycle. Further, if you take a snooze too late in the day, it will contain too much slow-wave sleep.’’ Dr. Sara C. Mednick author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life. People must appreciate the power of catnaps. It has a lot of advantages that is useful in our daily living.