In her book, Different Learners, Jane M. Healy devotes several pages to discuss the importance of sleep. Though her comments are aimed at how lack of sleep affects children, I believe it also applies to adults. Here are some of the facts on sleep:
- The brain is the first casualty when you aren't getting enough sleep.
- Lack of sleep affects learning, memory, mood and attention problems.
- It affects cognitive/emotional functioning.
- Sleep restores mental energy that children use in school & adults need for work
- A well rested student/adult has more brain power
- Adequate sleep sharpens psycho-motor skills & coordination (e.g., athletics, handwriting, driving ability)
As a pianist it is a waste of time if I try to learn new music or practice when I am tired. My body needs to rest, and so does my brain. With proper sleep, my practice time becomes productive.
And on that note, I'm going to bed!