Need to Problem Solve? Take a Nap


Problem? You’ve got tonnes of problems! And they all need solutions!


Take sleep more seriously—it’ll make you a better problem solver, according to a study in Cognition.


Researchers gave their participants a problem set to work on. After the problem set, some were allowed sleep, and others had to remain awake. After twelve hours, the participants were given another problem set—this one containing similar problems, but not the same ones as before.


Sleep made people better problem-solvers. A key phrase used by the researchers here is ‘analogical transfer’; that is, recognising similar problems, understanding why the problems are similar, and applying solutions to the similar problems based on past experience. We’re talking about learning, and a good night’s sleep is key.

The Takeaway

We already know that sleep plays a big role in memory formation. Now, here’s some evidence of what kind of role it plays in learning—and problem solving is applied learning. So here’s todays lesson: get some sleep. See? You learnt something already.



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