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Sleep Boosts Brain Power But Differently For Men And Women

Young businesswoman sleepingAdequate sleep is key to a healthy lifestyle. It has even been linked to ability to lose weight. As it turns out, it is also an important component of one’s IQ. According to a recent study, getting a good night’s sleep may boost brain function. However, it is not as simple as getting the traditionally recommended 8 hours of sleep a night.

In fact, the study indicates that men and women need slightly different sleep patterns for optimal brain function. Something Thomas Edison might have intuitively known.

Thomas Edison Sleep Secret For High Productivity

Thomas Edison sleep secretThomas Edison was inventor extraordinaire with upwards of 1,000 patents under his belt, including the light bulb. One can be a genius or a super-achiever, but rarely both. Edison was both.

And it wasn’t easy, even for the great Edison. He once said that “genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration”. In other words, a good thought followed by lots and lots of work.

Sleep and achievement don’t always go hand in hand. They say in order to achieve your dreams, you must stay awake. Yet we also need adequate sleep in order to properly function mentally and physically. A catch 22 of sorts. What if there was a way to get adequate sleep and still get a lot done?

Perhaps there is. And Thomas Edison, it appears, knew about it.

Edison is said to have had an “astoundingly ambitious” to-do list that could overwhelm the best of us. He regarded sleep as waste of time, sleeping only three hours a night. But it is also said have had the ability to sleep anywhere any time, and on virtually anything. And he was a daily napper.[1] And this may be the key to his extraordinary productivity.

You see, scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Munich found that while a good night’s sleep boosts women’s brain power, men tend to benefit from napping.

The researchers found that the difference between how sleep affects the sexes may be how each gender’s brain is structured, as well as hormonal differences. The scientist analyzed the sleep patterns of 160 adults of varying IQs. 72 were women and 88 were men.

They monitored sleep spindles, which are bursts of activity in the brain linked to intelligence. These were boosted overnight for women, but for men they were boosted during naps. Men’s brains, it appears, may perform better when taking naps while women may benefit from longer sleep hours.

Image: Thomas Edison {{PD-1923}}


[1] The Napping Habits of 8 Famous Men

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