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How to improve concentration: Sleep better, perform better

April 2, 2024
5 min 25 sec
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Written by

Sleep is a fundamental pillar of our health, as essential as diet and exercise. However, in an increasingly fast-paced and connected world, many of us sacrifice hours of rest for the sake of fulfilling our daily obligations or enjoying a little extra time.

This seemingly harmless habit has profound repercussions on our cognitive ability, particularly concentration. This post will explore how poor sleep not only leaves us feeling fatigued during the day, but also significantly affects our ability to concentrate, learn and make decisions. Through scientific evidence and practical recommendations, we will seek to better understand this link and how we can improve our quality of life by paying attention to our sleep.

Sleep and its role in cognitive health

Sleep is not a passive state, but an active and complex process that plays a vital role in the regeneration and maintenance of our cognitive functions. During sleep, our brain goes through several phases, including REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep, each with specific functions in information processing, memory consolidation and mental recovery. Studies have shown that a disruption of these phases, especially deep sleep, can result in a marked decrease in our ability to concentrate, process new information and recall past experiences. This cognitive impairment is due to the disruption of neural processes that depend on a complete sleep cycle for optimal functioning.

Consequences of poor sleep on concentration

Lack of restful sleep directly interferes with our ability to maintain attention and focus on specific tasks. This is because insufficient sleep affects the functionality of key brain areas such as the prefrontal cortex, which plays a crucial role in decision-making, planning and working memory. In addition, inadequate sleep can alter the levels of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which are directly related to our ability to concentrate.

The effects of a poor night's sleep on memory are equally worrisome. Memory consolidation, the process by which experiences are transformed into long-term memories, occurs predominantly during deep sleep. Without sufficient sleep, this process is compromised, affecting both short-term memory and the ability to learn and retain new information over the long term.

Decision making and problem solving are also affected by lack of sleep. The resulting fatigue reduces our ability to assess situations, plan appropriate responses and act effectively in the face of challenges. This impairment in executive functions can lead to impulsive decisions and reduced performance in activities that require critical and creative thinking.

Factors contributing to poor sleep

Modern lifestyle habits are a major contributor to poor sleep quality. Prolonged exposure to screens, especially before bedtime, can interfere with the natural production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycles. In addition, stress and anxiety, exacerbated by a fast-paced lifestyle, can make it difficult to initiate and continue sleep.

There are also medical conditions, such as insomnia, sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome, which can severely affect sleep quality. These conditions not only reduce the amount of sleep, but also disrupt its phases, preventing the body and mind from fully regenerating during the night.

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Strategies to improve sleep quality and concentration.

Improving sleep quality is possible by adopting healthy habits and making adjustments to our environment and daily routine. Establishing a regular sleep and wake-up schedule helps synchronize our biological clock, while limiting exposure to screens and blue light in the hours before sleep can ease the transition to rest. Practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation, hypnosis and deep breathing, before bedtime can also decrease anxiety and improve sleep quality. In addition, regular physical activity, preferably in the morning or evening hours, promotes a more restful night's rest. However, it is important to avoid intense exercise close to bedtime, as it can have the opposite effect.

Creating an environment conducive to sleep is another key factor. This includes ensuring a dark, quiet room at a comfortable temperature. Investing in a quality mattress and pillows, which provide adequate support, can also make a significant difference in the perception of rest obtained.

Finally, it is advisable to limit caffeine and alcohol consumption before sleeping, as they can alter sleep cycles and reduce sleep quality. Implementing a nighttime routine, which may include reading or relaxing baths, also helps signal to the body that it is time to prepare for sleep.

A long-term solution: Hypnosis

The science has revealed hypnosis as an effective tool to improve the quality of sleep, acting on the different phases of the sleep cycle and helping to achieve a deeper and more restful rest. This method works by inducing a state of deep relaxation, similar to trance, which facilitates the transition to sleep and can improve its overall quality.

  • Phase 1 (Transition to Sleep): Hypnosis helps decrease anxiety and stress, easing the transition from wakefulness to sleep. This is particularly helpful for people struggling with onset insomnia, as it mentally and physically prepares the body to enter the sleep state.
  • Phase 2 (Light Sleep): During this phase, hypnosis helps to stabilize sleep, reducing the chances of sudden awakenings. By promoting deeper relaxation, it allows the body and mind to more easily detach from distractions, leading to more uninterrupted sleep.
  • Phase 3 and 4 (Deep Sleep): It is in these phases where hypnosis shows great potential, enhancing the quality of deep sleep, crucial for physical and cognitive repair. Deepening the state of relaxation helps maximize the regenerative benefits of sleep, improving memory, learning and physical recovery.
  • REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Phase: Studies suggest that it may help regulate REM sleep patterns, associated with emotional processing and memory consolidation.

In this way, hypnosis acts as a sleep facilitator, helping to transition smoothly through its phases and maximizing the restorative benefits of nighttime rest.

How to easily harness the benefits of hypnosis

Implementing healthy sleep habits and strategies such as hypnosis can mark the beginning of a significant change in your quality of life. By practicing these techniques regularly and in the quiet of your home, and being consistent in your efforts, positive results in your sleep and concentration will soon manifest.

If you are interested in exploring a solution with scientific evidence and long-term benefits, we present an interesting proposal. Oneleaf has developed together with outstanding doctors specialized in hypnosis worldwide a mobile application to practice self-hypnosis from the comfort of your home. This application, in addition to helping you improve your sleep, can assist you in other essential aspects to achieve a vital balance, such as:

All this is possible by using the right program. Start sleeping better today with this free 7-day trial period, with no obligations and at your own pace.

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