Research: Sleep to work better

The age-old adage “I’ll sleep on it” has proven to be scientifically sound advice, according to a new study which measured changes in people’s brain activity and responses before and after a nap. The findings, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, support the advice which suggests that a period of sleep may help weighing up pros and cons or gain insight before making a challenging decision.⠀

Sleep (but not wake) improved processing speed in the masked prime task — but not in the control task — suggesting sleep-specific improvements in processing of subconsciously presented primes.⠀

The findings suggest that even a short bout of sleep may help improve our responses and process information. Therefore, the results here suggest a potentially sleep-dependent, task-specific enhancement of brain processing that could optimise human goal-directed behaviour.⠀

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