Productivity

Overthinking Cannot Solve Your Problems. But Sleep Can!

4 min read

I am a worrying machine, and I am trying to beat that habit. One of the ways that I have been able to do this is by Sleeping on my problems. When we have an issue to solve, we have all heard the advice to “sleep on it.”

Do you feel depressed? Sleep

Fighting the urge to ditch your diet? Simply get some rest.

Are you and your partner having a pointless argument?

Ignore the proverbial “never go to bed furious,” and simply sleep.

Don’t keep yourself up at night believing you will solve your problems if you just think about them for a bit longer. Everything will be in much better shape the following day, and you’ll have more strength and resources to deal with it.

According to a Lancaster University study, sleep improves our capacity for problem-solving.

Participants were given a selection of simple and challenging word association questions in this instance. Participants in the “sleep” group were given the tasks in the evening and asked to try again in the morning. They were given to the “wake” group to solve twice: once in the morning and once in the evening.

The ‘wake’ group solved the easy problems efficiently. More importantly, the group that had been able to sleep on it drastically improved their ability to solve the more complex puzzles.

So, even if you think your mind is made up, being able to sleep on it can lead to better insight the next day. You might even end up changing your mind.

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Sleep Can Help You Solve Problems

Finding the proper solution isn’t the only step in solving difficulties in life. We frequently need to make compromises when dealing with emotional concerns, bringing up sensitive topics with loved ones, or attempting to be diplomatic. That’s where imagination comes into play.

Different functions are carried out by various areas of our brain. These regions function differently while we sleep, enabling us to develop and heal from the day’s experiences.

This study provides some recommendations for enhancing how we solve challenges daily. If it’s a challenging issue, put it off overnight and come back to it the following day. Even if you’ve already made a difficult decision, it’s more probable that a quick review the next day will lead to the best option you can make. The advice to “sleep on it” is now backed by science.

Your Brain Needs That Sleep You Have Been Avoiding

Two elements make this happen. The prefrontal cortex gets shut down. This part of the brain handles executive decision-making (which includes rational thinking and impulse control). Still, now there’s no critical edge or categories to put ideas in. The brain can freely associate and, process in the background.

When you get into the REM stage of sleep, the neuromodulators norepinephrine and serotonin are turned off. Norepinephrine helps you focus on immediate, concrete problems. It’s the reason you don’t want to hear about someone’s ‘brilliant idea’ when you’re approaching a deadline.

There’s little known about what happens when serotonin is shut off. Still, studies show that it biases the brain into identifying looser connections as valuable. With both neurochemicals at bay, fragments of ideas can come together. “You have enhanced discovery of weak associations, ones you’d never notice,” Stickgold says.

You wake up the next day suddenly thinking, “I don’t want to take a job in Ibadan,” or “yeah, Port Harcourt.” It can feel like a gut decision you can’t necessarily explain. It also may not be the final one, but something has shifted.

You’re not in the same place as when you went to sleep.

Conclusion

Sleep well, and sleep often. You are not a vampire. So, please, take good care of your body.

If you feel troubled, pray. After praying, just go and sleep. Like Nigerians will say, “Don’t come and go and kill yourself”.

A good night’s sleep helps your mind process what you encountered during the day to efficiently utilize the information later. But it’s also essential for bringing in new information in the first place.

My name is Tomiwa and I'm very good at three things: WordPress, Marketing & Design.

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