Turns out our parents were right when they said ‘sleep on it’. No surprise there, they generally are. As it happens, when making a big decision it actually is better to sleep on your decision and come back to it with a fresh head. As hard as that can be sometimes, sleeping on it could be the best advice you’ll ever get. Here’s why you should really ‘sleep on it’…
Rumoured: sleep can help you make the right choice when faced with a problem
At some point in your life, you’ve probably had to make a big decision. At which point, I can almost guarantee somebody told you to ‘sleep on it’. While it generally sounds like an empty piece of advice and more something people say for the sake of it. Normally it sounds like a really good opportunity to procrastinate, but studies show sleeping on it could actually lead to making better decisions.
The truth: sleeping really can help you make better decisions
There is truth behind the rumour. It’s a known fact that you are 100% more alert after sleeping for as little as 20 minutes. So it makes sense that if you’re about to make a huge decision, taking a little nap to improve your alertness is never going to be a bad thing. But how should you ‘sleep on it’ correctly? Russel Sahna, PhD executive director of sleep medicine at Harvard University recommends tackling a problem by analyzing the problem, thinking of all the possible solutions then sleeping on it before making the final decision. This way, you have the best chance of processing all the information and coming to a rational conclusion.
Sleeping on it is a great way to make the best possible decision when it comes to big problems but it’s best to avoid for small problems. If you’re undecided on what to have for dinner tomorrow night, sleeping on it probably won’t help. It’s a great method when you need to put together all kinds of information and come to a conclusion but for small decisions, you’ll probably wake up still undecided.
So overall, sleeping on it will improve your alertness, make sense of all the information you need to process and generally lead to better decision making.