Want to Get Smarter? Get More Sleep

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 14, 2015

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Quick Bites

  • Don’t take your work to your bed.
  • Keep cell phones on silent mode, if not switched off.
  • Use some white noise music to help you fall asleep.
  • Maintain a regular sleep cycle.

Can there be a connection between being smart and your sleep? Well, it doesn't appear obvious but there is a close connection between both. Recent studies connect grey matter to your sleep. Grey matter is a general term for specific cells in the brain that are grey in colour. Made up of neuronal cells grey matter, these are responsible for identifying and processing information. Recent studies have linked grey matter to intelligence. It is believed that more grey matter in the brain may result in better and quicker processing of incoming information. Since then researchers are studying grey matter to find out ways to increase its size and effectiveness in the brain to enhance intelligence of an individual.

smart thinking

Among several factors being considered, the amount of sleep a person gets is of prime focus of several recent studies. It is believed that the amount of sleep can significantly affect the amount of grey matter in the brain. More grey matter is being associated with smartness or the ability of a person to interpret incoming information, analyse the information based on the intelligence and quickly respond to the information in a meaningful and productive behaviour. Researchers believe that having smaller amount of grey matter in the brain’s frontal lobe is somehow linked with having sleep problems.


A recent study published in the journal Sleep, closely associates the amount of grey matter with an individual's sleep patterns. The study based on several Gulf War veterans, found that those who regularly got ample amount of sleep had more grey matter in their brains compared with those who had been experiencing sleep loss or other sleep problems. Other studies of cognitive development in children also hint at the connection between sleep and grey matter. Studies suggest that the more sleep a child gets the better they become at cognitive understanding.


Besides scientific reasoning it also appears true from our daily life experiences. Missing on a night’s sleep disables you from performing at your normal performance level during the following day. You feel fatigued, tired and even frustrated without the same ability to understand and process information. On the other hand getting ample sleep can directly improve your performance the next day.

If you are missing on your sleep, or find it a little difficult to fall asleep and get proper amount of sleep, you don’t have to be worried. Millions of people around the world are experiencing the same problem just like you. In order to be smarter to need to ensure decent amount off quality sleep every night. To make sure you get proper sleep daily, eliminate distractions such as mobile phones or music or even excess light. Maintain a regular sleep cycle. It will allow your body to fall asleep daily at the same time and wake up on time.

Image Courtesy: Getty

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