Why ‘sleeping on it’ really works

April 28, 2021

Ever have a problem or can’t make a decision and then you “sleep on it?” Sure enough, you wake up with a fresh perspective.

Sleep keeps our brain running smoothly.

All of the new tidbits we pick up during the day are temporarily stored in our brain’s hippocampus. And, much like our electronic devices, it only has so much “storage.” 

So, if things aren’t working properly, or if we’re not getting enough sleep, we may not be able to “save” new things. 

Think of it this way — sleeping is like uploading or saving all of our memories and knowledge to the “cloud.” 

And, sleep helps us consolidate and organize everything floating around in our minds. 

When we’re snoozing, the brain gets busy crunching, reducing, or tossing out info we don’t need (like, what color socks we wore last Tuesday), so we have the space for new memories the following day. Then, sleep helps the brain to integrate and make sense of it all — the old and the new. 

This is why “sleeping on it” often leads to new perspectives and solutions! 

But if you have trouble falling asleep at night, resist the urge to reach for sleeping pills — these actually make your memory worse. 

Did you know mindfulness meditation can be a natural remedy for insomnia?

It teaches us how to switch off our body’s stress response and turn on our relaxation response at bedtime.   

And, guess what? 

Research shows that meditation also thickens the hippocampus, potentially improving our memory.

So, consistent sleep + consistent meditation just might be what our brain needs, especially as we age, to stay sharp and efficient.

Friends, May is the start of Mental Health Awareness Month and a good night’s sleep is, by far, one of the most important things you can do to positively improve both your mental and physical health.

In fact, it’s so important that we created a 7-day meditation program — “Better Sleep” — to help you develop the best sleep habits you possibly can. 

Get ready to catch more Zzzs and feel sharper than ever, friend.