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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sleep on it

If you've ever toiled with a difficult decision or just couldn't solve that homework problem, you've probably heard your parent or spouse tell you to "just sleep on it". Well, that is sound advice and there is something to it.

Sleep, more accurately, sound, uninterrupted sleep has a specific cognitive purpose. According to Richard Restak's book Think Smart (2009), Matthew Walker, director of the sleep and imaging laboratory at Beth Deaconess Medical Center in Boston states, "The more the brain learns, the more it demands from sleep at night." Getting a good night's sleep increases efficiency and helps you perform at your best. Your brain takes the skills learned from the day, organizes and consolidates information and prepares it for access. So, "in short, if you learn something while awake, you can increase your chances of remembering it by sleeping on it".

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