When you are struggling to make a decision or to figure something out and someone tells you to go sleep on it, YOU GO SLEEP ON IT!!

It is when we are asleep that the brain is doing this work of pulling everything together and seeing how it fits together, how it summarizes – Dr. Stickgold

Dr. Robert Stickgold, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in his TED talk explained the effect of sleep on our brain’s capacity on formulating new truths by connecting chunks of information.

We get creative intrusions more when we are asleep, not when we are awake. In his talk he share many experiments his students conducted where subjects showed between 2.5-10 times better performance on tasks between participants that had sleep and no sleep between the 2 ability tests.

At the very end of the talk, Dr. Stickgold highlights a VERY important point (in my view) in that the way the brain processes information is not as we expected, it is multi-level process that connects experiences and information from past and works out what that logic will mean to us going forwards : It predicts the meaning we give to our tomorrow and thus influences how we decide to act.

whole brain in sleep - Dr. Stickgold TED

Print screen of slide shown at Dr. Stickgold’s TEDx talk

Enjoy the talk!

So perhaps the Spanish are doing it right, go on, have a siesta! 🙂