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Sleep On It
A queen-size bed with pillows
Photo: Lotus Head
Got a problem? Go to bed.

Researchers recruited 66 people to discover if sleep spurred creative problem solving. They taught the participants two simple rules to help them convert a string of eight numbers into a new pattern. A third rule that required additional insight and would improve performance was kept secret.

After initial training, some participants slept eight hours, while others were forced to stay awake—some during the day, some at night. Those with sufficient shut-eye proved twice as likely as those who stayed awake to figure out the third rule and solve the problem.

The age-old advice to “sleep on it” now enjoys scientific support.

Massachutes Medical Society

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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, January/February 2005. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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