The Mystical Super-Powers of Your Zzzzzzs
OK, I admit it, you won’t find me jogging at any other time. But did you know that when you sleep, no matter how quietly your body is lying there, your brain is running laps?
We used to think that sleep was a time when the brain rested just as much as the body did.
Now we know that our brains are arguably as active during sleep as they are during waking hours.
These are just a few things that research has discovered your brain is doing overnight:
- It processes complex information you took in during the day – and even while you’re sleeping – so you can use it later.
- It decides what to remember, stores new memories, and reinforces existing ones.
- It rehearses physical tasks so you can perform them better when you’re awake, even if you’re doing something else at the same time.
- It tidies up! It makes a bigger space between brain cells and washes away the day’s neurochemical waste, which researchers think is key to maintaining both your memory and your metabolism.
Now, how amazing is that?
Basically, if you want to remember something, learn something new, get better at something, or train yourself to do something automatically, it makes a huge difference to sleep on it.
And that creates an amazing possibility: you can harness these abilities to clarify who you want to be – and help create that version of you.
When you’re in deep sleep, your brain is richly creative, stirring together all the information you give it and shaping that information into memories, abilities, clarifications, insights, and skills. Why not give it something really tasty to work with, like our hypnotic guided imagery, “Manifesting Your Future Self During Deep Sleep,” from psychotherapist and clinical psychologist Traci Stein?
Its soothing music helps you slip into deep, restorative sleep, while affirmations and guided imagery amplify your sense of purpose and meaning, and invoke the guidance of the wisest, healthiest part of you. It encourages your brain to remember and hang on to the skills, values, goals and behaviors of your best self, even as you sleep.
So the next time you decide you need to crawl under the covers right this very minute, don’t feel like you’re missing out or beat yourself up for being lazy. You’re giving your brain a chance to do some really important work.