learn how to sleep

Sleep is the most powerful learning tool!

Sleeping 7-8 hours per night has an enormous impact on your ability to learn. Cutting sleep, even for as little as one night, can have irreversible impacts on what you learn both before and after, in your fatigued state.

Pulling all-nighters should be banned from your life as a valid tool to cram information. The costs are simply too high.

Even if you’re not staying up for days on end trying to learn, few of us get the sleep we need to learn at our best.

What You’re Doing When Sleeping

Sleep is not a passive activity. Although it seems like you’re doing nothing but resting, the mind is highly active during your moments of slumber.

Sleep is broken into different discrete phases, mostly falling into two catagories of REM (rapid eye-movement, aka dreaming) and NREM (non-REM, which includes deep sleep).

While your head is on the pillow, your brain is engaging in very important work. This includes:

One of the first studies to demonstrate the importance of sleep to memory was the 1924 study by John Jenkins and Karl Dallenbach. In it, they compared rates of forgetting over the same time period when subjects were awake and asleep. The results are quite dramatic:

NREM sleep plays a particularly important role, with sleep researcher Matthew Walker explains:

“Indeed, if you were a participant in such a study [on sleep and memory], and the only information I had was the amount of deep NREM sleep you had obtained that night, I could predict with high accuracy how much you would remember in the upcoming memory test upon awakening, even before you took it.”

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mindfulness

I started off with Headspace but lately I’ve used with some success the Calm app, but never wanted to pay for it!

Now I am testing two free alternatives to then stay with one!

Smiling Mind is in testing mode now!

 

Top picks for the best meditation apps of 2020:

1. Ten Percent Happier

2. Headspace

3. Simple Habit

4. Insight Timer

5. Calm

6. Stop, Breathe & Think

7. Smiling Mind


What is meditation and what does it actually do?
Mindfulness — the goal of meditation — means being fully aware and present in the moment you live in. To achieve it, practitioners recommend paying close attention to your thoughts and feelings, observing your breath, and focusing.
Essentially, mindfulness is “this little kindling of interest in the most mundane fact of your existence,” Clifford Saron, a research scientist at the Center for Mind and Brain, tellsInverse.
Anyone can achieve it. But some people learn how to be mindful by regularly practicing specific techniques, including meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises.
The evidence is mounting that meditation is beneficial for both the mind and the body. Studies show that mindfulness may curb anxiety and depression, and may even improve your heart health. Other research shows mindfulness may treat alcohol addition, or increase resiliency in the face of stress. Other studies show that even just a brief introduction to mindfulness meditation may lessen pain and negative emotions.
Most recently, a pair of research papers to be published in March 2020 suggest that mindfulness may benefit you at work, too, by boosting attention and resilience in high-tension professional settings.
Mindfulness may go even further — a 2012 brain scan study found eight weeks of meditation quite literally changed participants’ brain structure.
But, while the science behind meditation and mindfulness grows, experts in the field believe the lay market in mindfulness may have gotten a little ahead of itself.
“This is a fraught area with inconclusive and highly variable results in which the press about the effects of meditation is way ahead of the actual data and the methodological issues involved,” Saron says.

Smiling Mind— A go-to for younger users interested in meditation.
Founded in 2012, this Australian app has quickly become a go-to for youth mindfulness meditation.
The app provides users with a survey to assess their base levels of happiness, contentedness, and alertness. It is customizable, meaning it can be tailored to enable younger users — especially those in school — to meet specific goals they have for their mental health and well-being.
Smiling Mind made it into the top picks because of its sports meditation programs: The app includes 6 modules with 12 sessions (made in partnership with Cricket Australia) designed to help users in their athletic performance.
There are longer sessions ideal for training and off-season periods, and shorter booster-style sessions that may help users get ready on the day for the big game.