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‘Placebo Sleep’: How you can trick your brain into thinking you’ve slept well

Reworld Media Asia 12/4/2018 Sarah Khan
a person lying on a bed © Reworld Media Asia

Between juggling your different hats as mom, wife, girlfriend, co-worker, daughter and more, a good night’s sleep is certainly a luxury that’s hard to come by.

Which is why if you find yourself waking up exhausted each morning, there’s a nifty little tip you can do to trick yourself into feeling fresh, rested and alert for the day.

A study by Colorado College has discovered that simply thinking you enjoyed a good night’s sleep (known as ‘placebo sleep’) can actually boost your brain performance.

The Study

Participants in the study had to rate how deeply they had slept the previous night, on a scale of 1 to 10. They were then told that there’s a new technique that could determine how well they had slept using sensors that measured their pulse, heart rate, and brain frequency.

This ‘technique’ doesn’t actually exist.

Those surveyed were then randomly split into two groups: one who was told their deep sleep was above average, and one who was told theirs was below average.

Consequently, both groups attended a lecture which focused on how a better sleep quality improves their cognitive function. This caused those who believed their sleep quality was above average to presume that they were more alert, and conversely so for the other group.

All the participants eventually participated in a test, where those who thought their sleep was above average performed significantly better on the test.

It’s All in the Mind

In essence, the study proves that if you believe you’re well-rested, your brain will perform better – regardless of your actual sleep quality. In the same vein, if you’re constantly harping on how tired you are, you’re perpetuating that reality for yourself.

No doubt, the mind is pretty powerful stuff. Next question: does this apply to losing weight as well?

Sarah Khan

Photo: Getty Images

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The post ‘Placebo Sleep’: How you can trick your brain into thinking you’ve slept well appeared first on Marie France Asia, women's magazine.

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