Don’t burn the midnight oil. There’s an ezzz way
10/10/2016 5:08:35 PM
|written By : Staff Reporter|
Burning the midnight oil may not be the best way to learn anything. It may be better to sleep over it.
Napoleon, Florence Nightingale and Margaret Thatcher slept only four hours a night. Thomas Edison claimed it was a waste of time. But try staying up night after night. We can’t. Some believe sleep gives the body a chance to recuperate but, in reality, the amount of energy saved by sleeping for even eight hours is minuscule - about 50 kCal, the same amount of energy in a piece of toast.
We have to sleep because it is essential to maintaining normal levels of cognitive skills such as speech, memory, innovative and flexible thinking. In other words, sleep plays a significant role in brain development.
Researchers at New York University School of Medicine and Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School found sleeping mice formed significantly more new connections between neurons -- they were learning more. Prof Wen-Biao Gan, from New York University, said: “So it is probably better to study and have a good sleep rather than keep studying.”
Dr Barbara Oakley stresses the importance of sleep in the popular online course, Learning How To Learn, developed by the University of California, San Diego, and presented on Coursera.