Sleep Like a Caveman to Boost Brain Power and Memory

A better brain could be achievable through adhering to the paleo philosophy and lifestyle, as a key factor in protecting your memory involves the quality and duration of sleep. Ensuring a good night’s sleep can aid in brain function, with solid research showing that seven to nine hours of quality sleep decreases the risk of cognitive issues associated with aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The Importance of Sleep

Aging can cause issues with cognitive function and memory. A study completed at Duke University analyzed the health data of 66 senior citizens. These subjects had their brain volume analyzed and were tested to understand the effectiveness of their memory and brain function over an extended period.

The study found that those who slept for fewer hours consistently showed more signs of brain aging on their scans, and faulted cognitive tests that well-rested subjects passed. With seven hours being considered the optimal amount of sleep for adults, the importance of sleep duration cannot be understated.

The Brain’s Connections

Similar to how weight lifting builds muscles, sleep can help develop memories and improve cognitive function. Research from the New York University (NYU) Langone Center shows that the brain’s cells grow dendritic spines during sleep to establish connections between cells for better information transfer.

According to Wen-Biao Gan, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience and physiology, “during sleep, your brain cells are as busy as your biceps are when you perform curls.” Reviewing information during slow-wave sleep solidifies new memories.

Laser scanning microscopes following the growth of dendritic spines in animals tested at NYU showed that spines grew quickly within six hours of learning a new task. When these animals were deprived of sleep, the growth slowed down.

The Benefits of Eating Fish

Including more fish in your diet can aid better sleep as the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish can encourage relaxation and reduce sleep disturbances, as supported by a study at the University of Oxford.

The complete lack of distractions in the paleolithic way of life is likely to have contributed to people living during this period being able to sleep better. Removing modern distractions such as electronic devices and lights may encourage better sleep patterns.


Consistent high-quality sleep is essential for maintaining memory and cognitive function as you age. Following the paleo philosophy could be the secret to achieving a better brain and a reduced risk of cognitive decline. Cellphone-free rooms, total darkness, no noise, cooler temperatures, and consuming plenty of Omega-3 rich fish may improve cognitive ability by allowing your brain to regenerate and consolidate knowledge and memories during sleep.