Don’t let poor sleep ruin your life

Want to start a new hobby? Good sleep makes it all possible.

Want to start a new hobby in 2018, but just don’t have the energy? ​ Insomnia, which leaves many with low levels of energy and slower cognitive functions, can be detrimental to the process of learning a new hobby or skill. We’re here to show you that not only is insomnia curable, but also that prioritising your sleep can help you to meet your goals.

A guitar

How sleeping better helps us to learn and perform better

To learn new hobbies and skills, we rely on several functions. While each skill may require a slightly different action or output, the foundations for each remain the same. At the heart of the learning process is energy and motivation. Without these two key characteristics, not only is it hard to actually begin the learning, but we’re less likely to engage with the process too. ​ Motivation is something that is closely linked with mood, energy and feelings of restfulness. These three are, of course, heavily reliant on how well we sleep at night. Sleep grants us a period of energy restoration, where this resource is conserved and replenished while we get some shuteye. ​ Sleeping well has a far more profound impact on wellbeing than a significant pay rise, according to new research.

A survey of thousands of Britons by the Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research found that a healthy amount of sleep was the strongest indicator of living well. By waking more energised and motivated, we will be able to dedicate our full selves to the new hobbies and skills that we wish to learn. ​ Alongside this, seeking help to overcome insomnia can have an important impact on other areas too. Sleep is a key factor when it comes to performance, including athletic performance. When we sleep well our speed, accuracy and reaction times, are enhanced. Lack of sleep negatively affects all of these factors. ​ You will also find that sleep helps us to be more productive. Not only is this helpful in the workplace and our day-to-day lives, but also when we apply ourselves to learning new things too. ​ Tied in with productivity is memory, and memory is a core component of learning many new hobbies and skills. Sleep and memory are inextricably linked. Firstly, as we examined above, someone who is sleep-deprived will apply themselves less to the task at hand. By focusing less, their memory will suffer. And secondly, sleep plays a role in the consolidation of memory, which is obviously a must for any learning process.

There are several stages to this. First is the acquisition stage, whereby we introduce new information into the brain. Most of us know know that we must be able to remain alert and pay attention to learn new things. However, many don’t recognise the importance of the consolidation phase, which happens during sleep, and is where the memory becomes more stable. The final stage is the recall stage, which refers to our ability to recall on the information that we have learnt. But, without sleep, the consolidating and stabilising of our new hobbies and skills can’t happen. ​ Further still, researchers found that even the loss of a single night’s sleep was enough to prevent and block the natural reset mechanisms of the brain. This causes the brain’s neurons to become confused with electrical activity, leaving it unable to sufficiently stabilise new memories. ​ While we don’t want you to get too bogged down by the science here, it’s important to highlight the clear link between sleep and memory, performance and attention. So, seeking out a research-backed insomnia treatment, you’ll be taking great steps towards learning those new hobbies and skills too! ​

How an insomnia treatment can help with specific hobbies and skills

So, now that you know the importance of sleep in learning, how can this be applied to specific hobbies? A popular one is to take up hiking, or some form of outdoors walking. This can be a relatively strenuous activity, and your new-found energy will come in handy in the great outdoors. And, better still, going outside will actually help you to sleep. Researchers found that those exposed to more light during the day got a better sleep at night.

A couple at the top of a mountain

You can also consider other forms of exercise too. Many like to take up a new sport or a commitment to the gym in the New Year. As with the above, this will be made much easier with higher energy levels. And, exerting this energy through exercise is also another great way to help us sleep. ​ However, you don’t just have to think about exercise-based hobbies and skills. Learning a new language is a skill that is always high on many people’s lists, but is also one of the hardest. Using your improved cognitive and memory functions from more restful sleep will make a new language much easier to pick up. ​ Or, perhaps you want to take up a simpler hobby, such as some light reading. While this doesn’t require the same level of energy as the above, you still need to be attentive. And, as with many hobbies and skills, reading before bed has been shown to improve our levels of sleep too.

How does online insomnia treatment work?

As you can see from the above, insomnia therapy is not only a great way to learn new hobbies and skills, but also many of these new skills can further aid us with our sleep too. And, as well as allowing us more time for this learning, it will also allow you to make more time for yourself in other areas of your life. ​ Our online insomnia programme is a proven to help people overcome insomnia, helping over 80% of patients to improve their quality of sleep, and ultimately their quality of life too. If you want to learn new things, then finding out new ways to enhance your sleep is a great place to start.

Start by answering a few short questions to find out how we could help you.

Image credits: Porapak Apichodilok and Alex Emmanuel

Further information