DAY 10: Sleep Now. Live Later
Day 10 Self Reflection:
On Day 10 of your workbook fill out the sleep hygiene checklist to see what your chances are of getting a good nights sleep.
Day 10 Micro-Science: Dreaming
The jury is still out on why we dream but there are some pretty cool theories are out there suggesting dreaming is super important. Some researchers believe dreams are about piecing together the different stimuli from your day so that your brain can make better decisions in the future. Other researchers focus on the unconscious being able to break through during your dream life because the part of your brain that focuses on "rational thought" is deactivated during sleep. A group of other theorist suggest that dreams are just the brain trying to stay busy when it doesn't have anything else to do. However, all of these different researchers agree that dreaming is worth trying to figure out but still not fully understood from a scientific standpoint. What does seem to be apparent is that dreams are a gateway into understanding your brain and what it likes to focus on. Check out the Ted Ed video below that looks at a number of these theories and helps us to understand why evolution has kept dreaming around.
FACT: Two groups of participants were given a maze problem solving exercise with a signficant shortcut worked in, both groups were show the problem. One group was then given 8 hours of awake time to figure it out and the other group was allowed to sleep for 8 hours. Participants who slept were ten times better at completed the maze compared to those that stayed awake between attempts.
TAKEAWAY: A tremendous amount of learning and processing from our day goes on while we are asleep. We tend to think of sleeping as a waste of time, but in reality it is one of the most important things we do.
Day 10 Meditation: Dream Journal
Remembering your dreams may seem like an unnecessary endeavor, but in reality your dreams are a direct line to your unconscious brain and therefore are a treasure chest of information. Everyone dreams, some of us just don’t put any effort into remembering what went on. However, what could be more important then understanding the part of your brain that makes the majority of your decisions for you. Research has shown that up to 90% of our daily decisions are made by the unconscious mind and skip the “intentional” conscious brain all together in order to save precious brain energy that the “thinking” brain sucks up.
FACT: Your brain produces much less cortisol (stress chemical) when in REM sleep (when most people dream). The brain also weakens its communication with the prefrontal cortex during sleep.
TAKEAWAY: Dreaming is a time to heal the unresolved issues from your day in a less stressful environment to gain a clearer perspective. Dreaming is a time to solve problems in unique ways because it is not constrained by the logic and rationality of the prefrontal Cortex.
Day 10 Meditation: Write down your dream from last night and if you can’t remember that one write down one you remember from your past. It might be interesting to see what it brings up in you. Research has shown if you write your dreams down regularly your more likely to remember then in the future.
Day 10 Movement Task: Take a Nap
Its not often your ordered to take a nap and its even more unlikely that you will see it as a necessary tool for a good day. However, multiple research studies have shown that often the best thing you can do for your productivity is to take a nap. Obviously a full siesta everyday isn’t always in the cards, but when you find the time to close your eyes for 5 or even 10 minutes your brain will thank you. Its much better than spending that time mindlessly scrolling through instagram.
FACT:NASA did a study where they showed that a 25-30 minute nap improves cognitive performance by 30%
TAKEAWAY: Your brain needs to rest, so for goodness sake give it a rest.
Day 10 Movement Task: Set the timer and take a 20 minute nap at some point today. You don’t have to fully fall asleep, if nothing else just close your eyes and give your eyelids a break.
Day 10 Bonus Material:
#1) Ted Talk: Why Do We Sleep
Check out this Ted Talk by Russel Foster identifying the multitude of reasons why sleep is so important to a well functioning brain and well-lived life.
#2) Ted Talk: One More Reason to Get a Good Nights Sleep
Check out this Ted Talk by Jeff LLiff as he gives an in depth look into the connection between the mind and body. Examining sleep as the necessary tool that holds them both together.
#3) Ted Ed: Sleep to remember
Check out this article by Greater Good: by Every time your heart beats your brain gets 20 percent of volume even though its only 3 percent of mass. That’s why during sex or exercise when heart rate increase, your brain gets more blood, but trauma too much or too