The Power of “Sleeping On It”

Image courtesy of /www.psychologytoday.com

“Let me sleep on it”

It’s the bane of salesmen everywhere, because they realize it is a thinly veiled replacement for “I don’t want your services but I don’t want to make you feel bad by saying no”

Let’s look at it in a new context though.

Brain research at major universities shows that we tend to retain what we study in the half hour before we go to sleep.

This is because the brain will fixate and work on anything we put before it in those moments before slumber.

What do most people do with these valuable learning moments?

They fret about the day they just had and what Susie said and what Bill did and why Johnny reacted that way.  And they fret about what will happen tomorrow.

So in this rich active brain time called sleep, their brains are wracking and wrecking themselves trying to come up with ways to explain or justify or rationalize these situations, and they wake up just as stressed as when they slept.

The amazing thing is, the brain doesn’t just retain and review what we feed it before bed, it works on the problems and creates new solutions, if we give it the tools it needs.

This is amazing news.

Comedians often sleep with a pad of paper because they know some of the funniest jokes can come in a stroke of inspiration in the middle of the night.

Successful inventors, business men, writers do the same.

What could your brain accomplish if you gave it something constructive to “sleep on” rather than it’s normal diet of gossip and stress and other people’s problems?

How about reading something to expand your mind, and leaving your brain to bask in the glory of literature, or ponder the great questions of philosophy, or seek a deeper understanding of human psychology?

How about isolating a creative task you’d like to accomplish in your life and fixating on it before bed each night, a concrete goal, writing a novel, losing 100 pounds, running a marathon, recording an album, landing a leading role?

If you work on something 1 hour a day, in a month you have 30 hours of work.

If your brain works on it every night as you sleep, in a month you have 240 hours of work.

That’s 10 FULL DAYS a month of work on ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH.  Don’t flush it down the drain!

Activate the power of “sleeping on it” and you could find your progress accelerated 100 fold!

Assignment: Pick a concrete goal or a solvable issue in your life and fixate on it before bed tonight, focusing on getting out of the way of the solution.  Keep a pad of paper and a pen nearby, and write down anything that comes to you in the night.  Thank your brain in the morning.

What are you going to sleep on tonight?  Share in the comments.

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~ by Christopher G Keene on September 26, 2012.

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