Learning Anxiety Sleep Brain–based Learning
All human beings are born as natural learners. • We are born with a brain that knows how to learn
Our brain has a natural, innate thinking and learning process. • We start to learn and remember even before birth and are thinking soon after birth.
Our brain is primarily our survival and self-empowerment organ. • The brain asks, “How does the world work and how can I make it work for me?
The brain is a powerful natural learning organ because it… • has a natural learning process. • has innate logic. • is a natural problem-solver. • is a natural pattern-seeker. • is internally motivated.
Experience is Key • From birth and through life, the brain is, by nature, thinking logically, problem-solving, and pattern-seeking. • The only thing ever lacking is the amount of relevant experience for the brain to think about.
Relevant Experience • Adults with lack of relevant experience and knowledge can think logically, solve problems, and seek patterns but may not be able to do so correctly unless and until they acquire the essential relevant knowledge through relevant experience.
The Brain • Physiology: brain cells, 200 billion strong! • Neurons (nerve cells) grow dendrites & axons • With passing time and more learning, dendrites form networks • Chemistry: an axon (nerve cell fiber) is neuro-transmitter • Releases chemical to make connection with other cells and build network • Electricity: chemistry produces electrical impulse • Signal is sent across gap (synapse) to next cell, building the network of knowledge
What happens when learning takes place? • Neurons and synapses: • Learning takes place when neurons communicate with each other • When neurons receive sensorial inputs they form extensions called dendrites • The axon is a long thin fiber which starts from a neuron and stretches towards another neuron. • Dendrites and neurons make up networks • The communication between neurons is facilitated by myelin. The point of conjunction is called synapse. The liquids which make neurons communicate are the neurotransmitters.
When are all these connections made? When you are sleeping!
The Importance of Sleep People sleep in 90 minute cycles. During REM sleep communication takes place between the synapse and dendrite.
REM Sleep Notice how REM increases with the hours sleeping.
Importance of REM Sleep • During REM dendrites form and neurons meet. • Sleep cycles cannot be broken; they must be continuous. • Sleep deprivation hinders learning. • Sleep deprivation is even a form of torture!
Men vs. Women How many hours of sleep do you get? Men require about 8 hours. Women require about 9 hours.
Are you sleep deprived?You are probably sleep deprived if any 2 of the following apply to you: • Eat heavy meals before bed time. • Drink alcohol in the evenings. • Can’t fall asleep quickly. • Can only wake up in time if the alarm clock goes off. • Know you need extra hours to sleep. • Tend to “work ‘till you drop”. • Up late watching TV or are up late online.
One consequence of sleep deprivation: In a test of reaction times, people who were tired because of disrupted sleep performed about as poorly as subjects who were legally drunk.
Another Consequence Brain activation during an arithmetic task after a normal night of sleep (top) and following sleep deprivation (bottom). Yellow represents the most intense activation, red the least intense.
If you miss your last hour of REM sleep, you may experience the following negative symptoms: • Drowsiness throughout the day • Irritability • Anxiousness • Depression • Negative socialization • Reduced communication skills • Decreased or impaired cognitive abilities • Reduced decision making abilities • Reduced ability to solve math and verbal problems • Loss of short term memory
Did you know… Adult males require a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night. Adult females require a minimum of 9 hours. Young people between the ages of 13 and 21 require a minimum of 9.25 hours of sleep. Only 5% of adults can function well with 7 hours or less of sleep a night. 20% of all students fall asleep in class. ADD is frequently misdiagnosed when it may actually be sleep deprivation.
Academic Performance and Sleep • A and B college students average 8 hours or more of sleep a night. • C students average around 7 hours of sleep. • D and F students get less than 7 hours of sleep per night.
Recommendations for a Better Night’s Sleep. • Take 4 weeks to stabilize an effective sleep cycle. • Try to go to sleep before midnight. • Choose and stick to a regular bedtime. • If you can’t get more sleep, try to sleep more regularly. • Don’t consume caffeine, chocolate, nicotine, or other stimulants after 2:00 PM. Some medications may best be taken in the morning (i.e. blood pressure medicine).
Do not consume alcohol 3 hours before bedtime. • Sleep in a room that is dark, quiet, and cool. • Invest in a good mattress and pillow. • Practice anxiety reducing exercises.
Anxiety causes a chemical reaction in the body. This chemical prevents dendrites from communicating at the synapse. ANXIETY
Ways to Prevent Anxiety • Take care of your body by eating a well-balanced diet. Include a multivitamin when you can't always eat right. • Avoid alcohol, and reduce or eliminate your consumption of sugar and caffeine. • Take time out for yourself every day. Even 20 minutes of relaxation or doing something pleasurable for yourself can be restorative and decrease your overall anxiety level. • Trim a hectic schedule to its most essential items, and do your best to avoid activities you don't find relaxing.
Log #2 • Tell me about the strategies you use to help you remember. • How can you use these strategies in your other classes? • What do you find works best for you and why? • What are your sleep habits like and how do they affect your learning? • How do you deal with anxiety? • Remember to relate this to your other classes.