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# Trying to find a solution for your problem - Sleep on it :)

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Trying to find a solution for your problem - Sleep on it :) [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2006, 10:41
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Experiment Shows You Really Should 'Sleep On It'

Source: scientificamerican.com

The next time someone gives you a hard time about sleeping in, say you were hard at work figuring out a difficult problem. Findings published today in the journal Nature provide experimental evidence that the old adage "sleep on it" actually has merit.

Ullrich Wagner of the University of Lubeck in Germany and his colleagues assigned people a mathematical puzzle consisting of a string of eight numbers. The scientists provided the subjects with two rules by which to generate a second string of numerals. In addition, a shortcut, which the researchers did not divulge, could be used to arrive at the target answer. After initial training, some participants were allowed to get a good nightâ€™s sleep while others remained awake. When they returned to the problem eight hours later, those who had slumbered were twice as likely to find the shortcut as were those who hadnâ€™t slept. Members of a second group that trained in the morning and attempted the problem again later that day were also slower at finding the shortcut, suggesting that tiredness was not a factor for the poor performances.

Just what kind of sleep--rapid-eye-movement (REM) versus non-REM sleep, for example--is best for tackling tricky puzzles remains unclear, as does the role dreaming plays in solving problems while sleeping. But Pierre Maquet and Perrine Ruby of the Cyclotron Research Center in Belgium note in an accompanying commentary that "at the very least, Wagner et al. give us good reason to fully respect our periods of sleepâ€”especially given the current trend to recklessly curtail them.
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13 Jul 2006, 01:24
Interesting piece of info really.

No wonder I hear people say"...let me sleep over it and I'll get back to you"..have always wondered why they want to "sleep" over it, now I know.
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18 Jul 2006, 11:39
it is really interesting... but what if you wake uo and forgot of the solution you found in yourdream???? problem...
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17 Aug 2006, 15:39
Ahh so those college nights when I put my textbooks under my pillow before a test really did pay off! (j/k)

Actually, I would say that tiredness IS a factor. What the experiment showed is that people who didn't get to sleep, or people who have worked all day, were slower in solving those puzzles. So I don't see how they could say that tiredness is not a factor and only sleep is. I don't disagree with the conclusion though. I mean, who doesn't know that if you keep working without proper rest you will eventually have very low efficiency? It's common sense, I'd say.
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18 Aug 2006, 09:55
Its a relative issue. I see "lack of concentration". Students who lack "concentration" were inept to solve the issue and vice versa.
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18 Aug 2006, 11:44
Hmmm... I should print this article out and bring it with me to my test. When I hit a really hard problem, I'll just tell them I need to take a nap and I'll get back to it. I'm sure they'll understand...
18 Aug 2006, 11:44
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# Trying to find a solution for your problem - Sleep on it :)

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