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Medical Sleep on it before making major decisions (article)

  1. Feb 17, 2006 #1
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11392879" [Broken]

    Evidence supporting the notion that its best to sleep on big decisions.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2006 #2


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    From the article:

    This reinforces what Poincare reported about his discovery of the theta-Fuchsian functions (don't ask!). He worked like crazy on the problem for six months in Paris without success, then took a hiking vacation and completely forgot about it, consciously. And when he was stepping on the bus to go home, the answer flashed into his mind. He concluded that BOTH the hard work AND then the complete concious absence from it were required; he attributed it to a subconscious linking of disparate ideas.

    And was it Caesar who reported of the ancient gauls that they always discussed important decisions drunk so that their choices should not lack for daring, and then again hung over the next morning that their judgements should not lack for prudence!:biggrin:
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  4. Feb 18, 2006 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    :rofl: A balanced approach indeed!

    When Tsu and I moved to Oregon from L.A. and were looking to buy a house, though Tsu loved it, but I didn't want this place - our current home. I didn't like it when I first saw it continued to feel the same throughout the day. The property was nice enough, but among other things the house was just too small. And I felt quite strongly about this. I was convinced that I wanted a larger house. That night I literally bolted up in bed at about 3 AM: What was I thinking!!! I woke up Tsu: "Hey, wake up! I want it! I want it!" The house was too small alright, but as if someone had hit a switch, this suddenly seemed trivial compared to what we were getting. I could hardly wait for the morning so that we could submit our offer and I have never regretted the decision to buy. To this day we love our place, but I was absolutely convinced that I didn't want it because of my previous planning.
  5. Feb 24, 2006 #4
    I think its because after sleeping, our mind gets relaxed and is not usually not involved in the complex thoughts. So making a choice becomes easy.
  6. Feb 24, 2006 #5


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    Do people consider that your "unconscious churning through the options" is just the actual physical structure of your brain changing? The physical structure associated with that 'Eureka' thought perhaps just takes a while to be built and a certain kind of brain activity (continuing to work on the problem) might interfere with that or make it relatively slower. ?? I'm just not sure what others think "unconscious churning" might be.
  7. Apr 4, 2006 #6
    I would really love to believe what the article proposes, but until we have a far better understanding of how the "unconscious mind" works, it's best to remain even a little bit skeptical. The article almost proposes a "go-with-your-gut" style of decision making. When we are faced with a big decision and we review all the information, leaving the scene (so to speak) and coming back to decide later is tantamount to making an intuitive decision.

    Conscious decision making on the larger scale has its benefits, too. Rationalization and weighing of pros and cons to make a better choice would be preferrable, in my opinion. When deciding to buy a car or a house, why not take the pros and cons and sort them out in a Socratic-esque fashion?

    I think the article should be noted as a new scientific finding and it should be taken as information, not necessarily advice.
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