Sleep Might Be the Most Valuable Part of Your Work Day

Most people equate sleep with rest—the one activity that allows us to fully let go of our daily responsibilities and anxieties. It’s how we recharge our batteries, without the help of an actual charger. Well, not so fast.

David Kadavy, a designer-turned-author who currently writes about productivity, spoke with the neuroscientist John Kounios, who told Kadavy that contrary to popular belief, sleep is not doing nothing. “Sleep is mental work,” Kounios said.

“Sleep is creative work. Your brain is churning over memories, it's clearing out the mental cobwebs—it's generating ideas,” Kounios continued. “Sleep is itself work. So if a person's trying to solve a problem, and they take a nap to sleep on it, that's not not working on the problem, that is working on the problem.”

What Kounios is saying is that although sleep may not be the complete and total detachment that many people think it is, or rather want it to be, that may not be such a bad thing. Very successful people sometimes forgo sleep in favor of maintaining their productivity, but Kounios insists that during sleep the brain is doing “memory consolidation,” meaning it’s taking information that’s been stored and making it more retrievable.

That kind of memory strengthening is crucial to solving problems during waking hours. So the next time you choose work instead of sleep, remember the difference between the two is smaller than you may think.

Get a good night's sleep on this Saatva Loom & Leaf Matress, and let us know if sleep helps your memory.