Sleep is for the weak.
This is an expression I often come across especially among my developer and designer friends. This is so usually because of the time consuming nature of roles in the tech field and in fact any field at all.
Apparently, the reverse is the case as research has shown that sleep has an important role to play in our learning process.
Learning is a major component of tech role because of the fast paced industry. Everyday, a new framework is released and we need to understand what this framework does and how, standard logos are replaced and we need to understand why and what was changed, research papers are released on algorithm, job deadlines begin to creep in and the list goes on and on. The most intuitive decision we take is to sacrifice a few nights and days so we can fully utilize the 24 hours. This is the worst thing to do as it does the direct opposite of what you intended to do.
It renders you unproductive.
Sleep in addition also helps "keep your brain clean". It does this by shrinking the neural cells and giving way for fluid to clean toxic elements that are produced while we are awake. This helps us think straight and tackle that bug head on. Now you know why you found that extra semi-colon when you woke up.
Sleep also helps us consolidate information we have learnt during the day. It does this by making connections between important information and disposes less important ones.
The last point is a shocker and somewhat funny. If you think about a concept before sleeping, you could end up dreaming about it. Remember Kekule from Chemistry?
I’m presently taking Barbara Oakley’s course on Coursera titled “Learning how to learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects.” and I notice the emphasis she makes on the importance of sleep in learning.
So, if you are trying to be a genius, get some sleep. Figure out how much sleep you need to stay productive and do just that.
P.S : I hope to update this article as I go ahead with the course. So please check back for updates.