Are you coming to learn with us? Better make sure you get a good night’s sleep!
According to neuroscientist Matthew Walker, sleeping is the best thing you can do before and after learning, in order to cement the memory and make learning stick.
Sleeping before learning has the effect of clearing out the hippocampus (the part of the brain where information is captured and bound together). The hippocampus has a limited storage capacity, so sleeping for a full night or even napping before learning will allow learners “a refreshed capacity to absorb new information” afterwards. Sleeping after learning then ‘saves’ and consolidates the new information – and it’s the deep sleep we get early on in the night that does this best.
I regularly ask learners where they are and what they are doing when they have their best ideas. No one ever says, “In a workshop” or “at my desk”. Several people tell me that they have ideas at night or wake with a solution. This is because when we spend time away from a problem, our brain incubates on our behalf – it processes failed solutions and combines thought elements in different ways to deliver new insights. So ‘sleeping on it’ is actually good advice too!
Walker and many others have highlighted the impact that sleep has on our memories, our ability to solve problems, and also to read and respond to others’ emotions. Not to mention the energy and stamina that we need! It’s clear that good sleep is an essential commodity to Lean Six Sigma practitioners, sponsors, coaches, learners and trainers.
So sleep well tonight everyone, ready to rise and shine tomorrow.
“Day is over, night has come
Today is gone, what’s done is done
Embrace your dreams, through the night
Tomorrow comes with a whole new light”.