Sleep is Essential for Memory Performance
Because we have been sleeping (at least half of) our entire lives, we tend to take sleeping for granted.
However, some thinkers and researchers have started to seriously ask why we sleep. And one clinical theory points to memory consolidation.
We need to sleep...not only because it feels *siiigh* really good to sleep...
...but also because the brain requires a few hours of downtime to properly process and store all of the day’s events and learned knowledge into memory.
Even so, even us brain-savvy nootropic nerds often *ahem* forget this important relationship between sleep and memory - leading us to consistently operate at sub-optimal sleep levels.
But worry not.
In this article we not only cover the science of sleep and memory, but we also list the Best Sleep Supplements for Memory Performance.
The Relationship Between Sleep and Memory
Getting better sleep isn’t always a choice.
In fact, much of our sleep quality is dependent upon our circadian rhythm.
What is circadian rhythm? It's best thought of as an internal clock that primarily responds to light and darkness.
During daytime, the body is exposed to sunlight, notifying our circadian rhythm to trigger productivity-related physiological processes.
In the predicted nighttime absence of light, our circadian rhythm triggers sleep-related physiological processes, Including the secretion of melatonin—a hormone that induces feelings of tiredness.
Key Point: An inconsistent sleep-wake schedule may disrupt a healthy, consistent circadian rhythm, resulting in a tired daytime and a wired nighttime—and, yes, poor memory.
3 Sequential Memory Processes
To understand how the circadian rhythm influences memory, let’s first take a look at the three sequential processes that must occur for memory to work:
- Acquisition: the process of learning new information;
- Consolidation: the process of stored information in the brain;
- Recall: the process of accessing stored information at a later date.
With memory consolidation occurring predominantly during sleep, a consistent circadian rhythm is essential to the brain’s ability to sufficiently record all of the day’s learned information and events.
However, the relationship between the circadian rhythm and memory cuts both ways.
After all, as both a product and promoter of habit, the circadian rhythm is itself heavily dependent upon memory. Such as, memorized patterns of behavior that help the brain and body anticipate daily behaviors and environmental shifted.
Ultimately, memory facilitates a consistent circadian rhythm, which in turn contributes to optimal memory performance.
Sleep Deprivation and Memory Loss
The research on sleep deprivation and memory loss seems reasonably conclusive on the statement that poor sleep contributes to poor memory performance.
As the brain’s primary memory storage unit, the hippocampus undergoes structural changes in synaptic connectivity between neurons to facilitate memory consolidation.
Animal research suggests that sleep deprivation (in mice) may have long-lasting consequences on memory performance based on the finding that “five hours of sleep deprivation decreases dendritic spine numbers selectively in hippocampal area CA1”—a subregion critically involved in hippocampal-dependent memory formation.
Interestingly, poor sleep may not only contribute to poor memory performance but also to false memory consolidation.
Could the global rise of sleep deprivation be a contributor to the global rise of misinformation?
3 Tips on How to Get Better Sleep
Okay, so sleep affects memory performance. And memory performance affects sleep.
But what then can we do to get better sleep and, thus, improve our memory-related cognition?
Here are a few tips:
1. Limit Blue Light Exposure
Especially in the evening, reducing your exposure to blue light, which is the type of light emitted from the sun and electronic screens (TV, smartphones, tablets, etc.).
Because our body’s circadian rhythms remain primed for an electricity-free world, they easily fall out-of-rhythm when exposed to too much blue light in the evening—i.e., when natural blue light is absent.
2. Wake Up at a Consistent Hour
When our sleep-wake cycle falls out-of-rhythm, falling asleep can be a difficult task.
We can go to bed, but this doesn’t guarantee that our bodies will be physiologically primed for sleep.
However, what we can control is when we wake up, and by waking up at a consistent hour, we provide some consistency for our sleep-wake cycle to get back into a healthy rhythm.
3. Take a Natural Sleep Supplement
Just because it’s much easier to schedule a wake-up time than a successful bedtime doesn’t mean that there’s no way for us to encourage our bodies to fall asleep during bedtime.
With a natural sleep supplement that promotes the body’s relaxing physiological processes that would otherwise occur with a healthy circadian clock, we may in a way bio-hack our brain and body—typically with melatonin—to achieve quicker, deeper sleep.
Here are the Best Sleep Supplements for Memory.
Best Sleep Supplements for Memory
Improve your sleep quality but also your daytime cognitive performance - with a natural sleep supplement (emphasis on natural)
While daytime nootropics are great for ramping up mental performance, it’s also important to slow the brain down at night.
So the brain can rest, recover, and consolidate the day’s memories.
With that in mind, the best natural sleep aid + nootropic combination for both nighttime sleep enhancement and daytime brain boosts includes Performance Lab® Sleep and Mind Lab Pro®.
Performance Lab® Sleep
Unlike traditional OTC sleep aid supplements, Performance Lab® Sleep eschews the usual, cheap, synthetic melatonin for the clean, green CherryPURE®; a natural melatonin extract from whole Montmorency tart cherries at a potent 50:1 concentrated ratio.
In addition to improving sleep quality via melatonin, CherryPURE® supplies anthocyanin antioxidants that may help soothe achy joints and muscle tissue.
What’s more, the multi-faceted sleep benefits extend towards daytime performance with TryptoPure®; a unique, patented type of L-tryptophan that helps bust the disruptive sleep-stress cycle by indirectly converting to serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood and emotional balance.
The mood-supporting aspect of L-trytophan may carry over into the next morning to promote bright and motivated daytime cognition.
And, of course, Performance Lab® Sleep’s Magnesium works as a key sleep supporter by calming overexcited neurotransmissions and sleep-disruptive twitchy muscles.
For the mineral-sweating athletes and bodybuilders, this magnesium addition is key to sustaining a healthy physique.
The ingredients listed on Performance Lab® Sleep’s Supplement Facts include:
- Magnesium+ (Magnesium Bisglycinate, Magnesium Taurate, NutriGenesis® Magnesium), 100mg
- CherryPURE® (50:1 concentrated ratio), 500mg
- TryptoPure® L-Tryptophan, 250mg
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Sleep
Mind Lab Pro® Nootropics for Sleep and Memory
Here are a few Mind Lab Pro® nootropics may further improve sleep quality and memory (and other cognitive performance measures) when stacked with Performance Lab® Sleep:
Sourced from Camellia sinensis leaves (green tea), L-theanine is an anxiolytic amino acid and an incredibly popular nootropic that may improve sleep quality without sedation.
The Suntheanine® brand of L-theanine in particular has been clinically demonstrated to be effective at “improving some aspects of sleep quality in boys diagnosed with ADHD.”
More on Mind Lab Pro® L-Theanine here.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom
As the only nootropic shroom clinically demonstrated to influence neuroregenerative factors, namely brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Lion’s Mane Mushroom is one of the best cognitive enhancers for daily brain support.
Aside from BDNF’s association with memory and learning, Lion’s Mane Mushrooms’ pro-BDNF effects have also been clinically observed to improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorder among overweight or obese participants.
More on Mind Lab Pro® Lion’s Mane Mushroom here.
With the association between nootropics and stimulants, it’s easy to think by default that enhancing cognition via nootropics comes at the cost of achieving adequate sleep at night.
Certainly, this is the case with powerful stimulant-type brain boosters.
- With Mind Lab Pro®’s stim-free nootropics, brain boosts come free as charge - as far as sleep quality is concerned.
As a nighttime sleep quality enhancer, Performance Lab® Sleep may not only help you achieve quicker, deeper sleep but also ensure that you have a well-rested enough mind for optimal daytime performance.
Together, Mind Lab Pro® and Performance Lab® Sleep have your 24/7 cognition covered.
Stack Mind Lab Pro® + Performance Lab® Sleep with:
Performance Lab® Energy
Uniquely, Performance Lab® Energy promotes greater energy and vitality levels without use of any stimulants, including caffeine. Instead, Performance Lab® Energy takes a more natural, sustainable approach by supplying a rich mix of antioxidants—ALCAR, R-Lipoic Acid, CoQ10, and PQQ—that each promote mitochondrial ATP energy production via separate bio-mechanisms. Additionally, Energy tops this formula with BioPerine® Black Pepper Extract for enhanced nutrient absorption. The result: better energy without sleep disruption.
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Energy, click here.
Performance Lab® MCT
Another effective source of stim-free energy: Performance Lab® MCT, one of the cleanest MCT oil supplements that supplies fast-acting, long-lasting brain energy fuel. Taken in the morning or afternoon, MCT oil works particularly well at supercharging brainpower and keeping the mind focused without any mental distractions, especially craving-related distractions. What’s more, taking MCT oil with Mind Lab Pro® may assist with the absorption of Mind Lab Pro®’s fat-soluble nootropics.
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® MCT, click here.
Performance Lab® SPORT Protein
In addition to improving memory performance, getting better sleep also facilitates muscle growth and recovery. By providing an easy-to-absorb supply of plant-based protein, Performance Lab® SPORT Protein may further improve your nighttime anabolic gains and overall exercise recovery. For the athletes and bodybuilders looking to boost lean and clean muscle mass, SPORT Protein’s Oryzatein®, an organic-certified brown rice protein, is a must-have for post-workout recovery and pre-sleep anabolic nourishment.
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Protein, click here.
- Abel T, Lattal KM. Molecular mechanisms of memory acquisition, consolidation and retrieval. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2001 Apr; 11(2): 180-7.
- Born J, Wilhelm I. System consolidation of memory during sleep. Psychol Res. 2012 Mar; 76(2): 192-203.
- Albrecht U. The Circadian Clock, Reward, and Memory. Front Mol Neurosci. 2011; 4: 41.
- Havekes R et al. Sleep deprivation causes memory deficits by negatively impacting neuronal connectivity in hippocampal area CA1. eLife. 2016; 5: e13424.
- Lo JC et al. Sleep deprivation increases formation of false memory. J Sleep Res. 2016 Dec; 25(6): 673-682.
- Lyon MR et al. The effects of L-theanine (Suntheanine®) on objective sleep quality in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Altern Med Rev. 2011 Dec; 16(4): 348-54.
- Vigna L et al. Hericium erinaceus Improves Mood and Sleep Disorders in Patients Affected by Overweight or Obesity: Could Circulating Pro-BDNF and BDNF Be Potential Biomarkers? Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019; 2019: 7861297.