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Sleep Deprivation and Attention: Impact on Cognition

By Dr. Ramon Velazquez Ph.D. | |

Get Better Sleep to Pay Better Attention

What do you pay with when you “pay attention”?

You pay with the energy gained from sleep!

Think of sleep as a deposit in the brain bank, which you withdraw every time you have to pay attention.

Because the saying, despite how banal and commonplace it is, is pretty ingenious: attention isn’t free.

You do have to pay up to maintain competitive levels of attention and cognitive performance.

With that in mind, one of the best return-on-investments, in terms of sleep-time deposits in the brain bank, is a natural sleep supplement.

In this article, we not only cover the cognitive impact of sleep deprivation on attention. But also the over-the-counter Best Sleep Supplement to help you get better sleep and, thus, better cognition.

Sleep Deprivation's Impact on Attention and Cognition

Within the past couple decades, an "extreme go-getter attitude" (that suggested that success depends on skipping meals and skipping sleep) lived a short life.

And, frankly, we’re thankful that attitude died, because it’s awful advice.

While there are those freaks of nature who can thrive on only a few hours of sleep per day, most successful people will tell you that scheduling a sufficient amount of sleep is the secret ingredient to success.

Many of those same people will also tell you that, in this social media era, “paying attention, not seeking attention” is also critical to achieving success, thus begging the question:

Did Sleep and Attention Co-Evolve?

Sleep deprivation negatively affects attention in many animals, including humans. Suggesting that a key function of sleep is to regulate attention.

On the other hand, tasks that demand a high degree of attention increase our need for long, deep sleep.

Key Point: Again, attention isn’t free. It’s something we have to pay with sleep.

In fact, sleep and attention so intimately affect each other that, in a study titled “The yin and yang of sleep and attention,” a couple of researchers proposed the argument that: 

“sleep and attention may have co-evolved as brain states that regulate each other.”[1]

The concept of yin and yang is appropriate here, given that attention involves a state of heightened “excitatory” cognitive awareness.

Whereas sleep involves quite the opposite. They balance each other out, so to speak.

So, the relationship between sleep and attention cuts both ways...

...We need sleep to promote attention, and we need to engage in tasks that require attention to earn a good night’s sleep.

The Catecholamine Hypothesis on Attention

Similar to the argument that sleep and attention co-evolved, the 1960’s Catecholamine Hypothesis proposes that affective disorders, such as ADHD, significantly correlate with the status of our catecholamine neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, etc.).[2]

Given that sleep deprivation disrupts catecholamine balance, it’s not unlikely that the catecholamine hypothesis may help explain the bio-mechanism underlying the yin and yang theory behind the possible co-evolution of sleep and attention.

The Cognitive Benefits of Better Sleep

While the Catecholamine Hypothesis suggests that taking catecholaminergic nootropics may improve attention performance.

As is the case with L-tyrosine (see below), it also suggests that getting better sleep may improve attention by aligning your catecholamine activity with a balanced circadian rhythm.

Though the cognitive benefits of a consistent sleep-wake cycle are plenty, a few of the key cognitive benefits of getting better sleep include:

  • Better Attention: again, given sleep’s link to catecholamine status and the importance of catecholamines to attention, sleep plays a major role in boosting attention;
  • Better Memory: in a way, the circadian rhythm requires good memory to recognize and anticipate daily patterns, and, likewise, sleep helps establish a healthier circadian rhythm that in turn promotes better memory performance;[3]
  • Better Mood: sleep loss makes people cranky—this is well known—but ongoing sleep deprivation may significantly impact one’s emotional stability and well-being;[4]
  • Better Metabolism: linked to sleep’s importance to our circadian rhythm, how and when our body chooses to expend energy plays a key role in our overall metabolic health;
  • Better Stress Resistance: one explanation for how sleep deprivation makes us cranky, poor sleep contributes to excess cortisol (stress hormone) activity, which, in turn, negatively impacts mood, metabolism, energy, and much more.[5]

Rejuvenate Your Brainpower with Performance Lab® Sleep

A bottle of Performance Lab Sleep

To support attention and daytime mental performance, take a nightly regeneration support supplement like Performance Lab® Sleep.

The counterbalance to working hard isn’t playing hard but sleeping hard.

On that note, the counterbalance to playing hard is also sleeping hard, which makes Performance Lab® Sleep one of the best “hard sleeping” sleep aid supplements for sustaining both hard work and hard partying.

Even better, Performance Lab® Sleep is a natural sleep supplement that uses only all-natural ingredients, including a unique extract of natural melatonin - allowing you to safely take this supplement for long-term, nightly use.

To Buy Performance Lab Sleep, Visit: 

Which all sounds great.

But to better understand how Performance Lab® Sleep works, we’ll need to take a closer look at this product’s formula.

Performance Lab® Sleep

The Supplement Facts for Performance Lab® Sleep include:

  • Magnesium+ (Magnesium Bisglycinate, Magnesium Taurate, NutriGenesis® Magnesium), 100mg
  • CherryPURE® (50:1 concentrated ratio), 500mg
  • TryptoPure® L-Tryptophan, 250mg

Magnesium, CherryPURE®, and TryptoPure®—but where’s the melatonin? Though it’s not listed on the Supplement Facts, the melatonin comes from CherryPURE®, a natural melatonin ingredient extracted from Montmorency tart cherries.

Unlike many OTC sleep aid supplements, Performance Lab® Sleep eschews the usual, cheap, synthetic melatonin for natural, concentrated, cherry-extracted melatonin. This is a massive improvement over the standard sleep aid.

Key Point:

Whereas synthetic melatonin tends to vary in potency, resulting in unpredictable effects, CherryPURE® supplies a reliably standard melatonin dose per serving.

Ever woken up feeling foggy and groggy after taking melatonin the previous night?

That’s likely due to synthetic melatonin’s excessive potency.

By supplying minimally effective doses, Performance Lab® Sleep promotes quicker sleep onset and deeper sleep - without also impairing next-morning mental performance.

Likewise, Sleep also supplies mood-boosting L-tryptophan as the potent TryptoPure®. To further assist with sleep quality and next-morning cognition, in addition to NutriGenesis® magnesium, a mineral that helps relax overexcited brain activity and twitchy muscle fibers.

This clean combination of melatonin, magnesium, and L-tryptophan is perfect for the healthy busybodies who struggle to meet their bedtime goals.

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Sleep, click here.

Mind Lab Pro® Nootropics for Sleep and Attention

With the momentum of a good night’s sleep on your side, what better way to keep the brain-train rolling than with a powerful surge of brain boosting nootropics in the morning?

Here are two of the best Mind Lab Pro® nootropics for an early morning boost on attention:

L-Theanine (Suntheanine®)

Ever heard of the L-Theanine + Caffieine combination? It’s exactly as it sounds: rather than taking caffeine straight-up—say via a morning cup of coffee—you also add L-theanine, a green tea amino acid demonstrated to help sustain the focus-sharpening effects of caffeine while minimizing the stimulant’s jittery side effects.

In one study, researchers have observed that the “L-theanine and caffeine combination improved both speed and accuracy of performance of the attention-switching task at 60 min, and reduced susceptibility to distracting information in the memory task at both 60 min and 90 min.”[6]

More on Mind Lab Pro® L-Theanine here.


To sustain high levels of cognitive performance under conditions of exceptional stress, activity, or fatigue, the brain quickly burns through L-Tyrosine, a precursor amino required to synthesize mood- and attention-related neurochemicals, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, etc.

In the case of a poor night of sleep, research suggests that “tyrosine may prove useful in counteracting performance decrements during episodes of sustained work coupled with sleep loss.”[7]

More on Mind Lab Pro® L-Tyrosine here.

Mind Lab Pro and Performance Lab Sleep


Mind Lab Pro® + Performance Lab® Sleep stack daytime and nighttime nootropics to tackle sleep deprivation and attention performance.

For 24/7 brain coverage, take Mind Lab Pro® in the morning and Performance Lab® Sleep at night.

Though we tend to gravitate towards “immediate action” cognitive enhancers, what boosts cognitive performance best isn’t necessarily what boosts cognitive performance right now.

In addition to daily nootropics, taking a healthy, natural sleep aid is also key to sustaining ongoing high levels of attention and distraction-free productivity.

By adding Performance Lab® Sleep to your daily (er, nightly) supplement stack, you’ll enhance much more than sleep and attention.

Try Performance Lab® Sleep and see the results for yourself.

To get the best deal on Mind Lab Pro®, click here.

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Sleep, click here.

Stack Mind Lab Pro® + Performance Lab® Sleep with:

Performance Lab® Stim

A bottle of Performance Lab Stim

Performance Lab® Stim is a “caffeine 2.0” pill that pairs the popular caffeine + L-theanine stack with catecholaminergic L-tyrosine and a mood-boosting B-vitamin complex.

No doubt, caffeine is an effective, reliable brain booster. However, the stimulant can go off the rails, taking our cognition with it.

By counterbalancing caffeine with nootropic aminos and vitamins, Stim maximizes caffeine’s best parts while minimizing its jittery side effects.

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Stim, click here.

Performance Lab® Energy

A bottle of Performance Lab Energy

For a more stim-free approach to boosting brain and body vitality, Performance Lab® Energy is a caffeine-free energy booster that actually boosts energy—that is to say: natural ATP energy production.

With a rich mix of mitochondrial antioxidants, Energy promotes and protects mitochondrial production of ATP energy across the board, resulting in a long-term increase in cellular energy that benefits both cognitive performance and maintenance.

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Energy, click here.

Performance Lab® MCT

A bottle of Performance Lab MCT

Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, are a nootropic nerd’s best friends, and Performance Lab® MCT supplies the cleanest MCT oil in the world.

By extracting MCT oil from 100% organic coconuts via hexane-free technology, Performance Lab® MCT supplies only the best MCTs (C8 + C10) for ketone energy enhancement while removing the worst MCTs (C6 + C12).

This MCT oil may not only fire up your metabolism but enhance the absorption of Mind Lab Pro®’s fat-soluble nootropics, such as phosphatidylserine and lion’s mane mushroom.

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® MCT, click here.


  1. Kirszenblat L, van Swinderen B. The yin and yang of sleep and attention. Trends Neurosci. 2015 Dec; 38(12): 776-786.
  2. Schildkraut JJ. The catecholamine hypothesis of affective disorders: a review of supporting evidence. 1965. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995 Fall; 7(4): 524-33.
  3. Rasch B, Born J. About Sleep’s Role in Memory. Physiol Rev. 2013 Apr; 93(2): 981-766.
  4. Short MA, Louca M. Sleep deprivation leads to mood deficits in healthy adolescents. Sleep Med. 2015 Aug; 16(8): 987-93.
  5. Wright KP et al. Influence of Sleep Deprivation and Circadian Misalignment on Cortisol, Inflammatory Markers, and Cytokine Balance. Brain Behav Immun. 2015 Jul; 47: 24-34.
  6. Owen GN et al. The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. Nutr Neurosci. 2008 Aug; 11(4): 193-8.
  7. Neri DF et al. The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1995 Apr; 66(4): 313-9.

These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article is an opinion and explanation of current research given by the author. It is not an expression of a medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on as such.

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