By Ben Cohen
According to a new scientific study, sleep helps us solve problems. From the BBC:
Volunteers who had entered REM or rapid eye movement sleep – when most dreams occur – were then better able to solve a new problem with lateral thinking.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has published the US work.
We propose that REM sleep is important for assimilating new information into past experience to create a richer network of associations for future use
The study authorsIn the morning of the test day, 77 volunteers were given a series of creative problems to solve and were told to mull over the problem until the afternoon either by resting but staying awake or by taking a nap monitored by the scientists.
Compared with quiet rest and non-REM sleep, REM sleep increased the chances of success on the problem-solving task.
The study at the University of California San Diego showed that the volunteers who entered REM during sleep improved their creative problem solving ability by almost 40%.
Does anyone want to report this to the department of Labor? Over working people doesn’t necessarily make them more productive – just sick. I’m sure most of us could do with a good nap once in a while.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.