There’s no denying that sleep is vital for kids’ physical and mental well-being. As a parent, you must ensure they get enough of it for good performance in STEM education, coding for kids and robotics for kids.
While lack of sleep can cause ailments such as depression and obesity, adequate sleep promotes enhanced memory, attention, and student learning.
One of the factors responsible for this is what is known as sleep thinking. With sufficient sleep time, your kid can benefit tremendously from it by applying in STEM field. This technique works equally well for adults too. So, you can apply it to find solutions to your real-world problems.
What is Sleep Thinking?
Simply put, the brain works on the problems and situations essential to you while you sleep. While sleeping, the brain can engage in various activities, including helpful thinking. However, a few requirements must be met for it to function at its best, such as the need to understand the task at hand. These requirements can be satisfied in an easy, introductory manner.
You may have heard of some novelist waking up in the morning with the idea for his next novel. That’s sleep thinking at work. We may not even be aware that we are thinking and the idea will come up like an aha moment.
Most of the studies around sleep tend to focus on dreams. That’s because it was believed no mental activity took place during NREM sleep for an extended period, but recent studies have proven this belief false.
During sleep, the brain engages in a lot of high-level mental activity, including thinking and problem-solving. The brain not only dreams but also thinks and investigates during sleep making sleep thinking a vital aspect of the sleep cycle. While dreaming occurs during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of the sleep cycle, thinking occurs during the Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) phase.
Elements of Sleep Thinking
For instance, you ponder a math problem and engage with it. You cannot solve it, so leave it midway, and go to bed. You wake up from sleep, and the answer has dawned on you. It is a typical example of sleep thinking.
What’s common to sleep thinking is that the person is aware of the problem’s existence and wants the problem solved. They engage with the problem and then leave it to their brain to find the solution in their sleep.
From this, we can make out the four essential elements of sleep thinking:
1. The person was aware of the problem (Awareness)
2. The person had the desire to solve the problem (Desire)
3. There was engagement with the problem (Engagement)
4. The person leaves it to the brain to solve the problem (Surrender)
Sleep thinking can be handy not just for solving problems in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It could be used to solve the most critical issues in your life. You are struggling with what decision to make regarding a kid’s career. You could face a relationship problem with your kid or spouse; sleep thinking can help you figure out the right direction.
Sleep thinking can incubate creative ideas and find solutions to various philosophical issues. It is a comprehensive idea generation and management programme, a powerful tool for problem resolution, a way to lower stress, and even a way to treat insomnia.
Overall, sleep thinking can help in areas such as personality, issues at the workplace, relationships, behaviour, mental health, creativity, spirituality, and practical problems.
It can benefit both you as well as your kids.
Sleep Thinking vs Ordinary Thinking
The amount and calibre of the cognitive activity required varied, as well. We seldom have time during the day to focus all or even most of our mental energy on a particular issue or notion. We’re interrupted by a task.
We become psychologically exhausted. A different idea interrupts and diverts our attention. In other words, our days are hectic and fragmented, and other demands and desires interfere.
At night, our brain is free to ponder alone. Larger neuronal gestalts get to form, which is a scientific way of saying that more neurons can come together and attack any question by being released from their usual responsibilities.
Contrary to popular belief, the brain is much more plastic and flexible than you may realise and depend on the situation, it may function more or less broadly.
Sleep thinking also gives access to the unconscious mind. When we sleep, we may also have access to so many memories, so much uncensored material, and so many images and feelings that we may be talking about a way of thinking that is quantitatively and qualitatively different from awake thinking. Sleep thinking may prove to be the wealthiest thinking possible.
Steps in Sleep Thinking
Here are the steps in sleep thinking to help you find solutions to problems.
1. Self-awareness: The first thing you need is the willingness to reflect on your life and a desire to understand the blind spots in your existence. For this, we must beat what psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud called a propensity to avoid knowing oneself.
2. Affirm your desire: You express a desire to answer the questions.
3. Brainstorm: Spend 15 minutes and create a “master list” of current problems and questions. Meaningful connections start to form in your brain, relationships that it will continue to play with and develop as you sleep.
4. Identify particular issues and questions: Identity the problems that bother you. Turn that issue into a collection of questions and select one to use as a sleep thinking prompt.
5. Manage Anxiety: Since worrying about your problems makes you feel anxious, practising efficient anxiety management techniques is essential to the sleep thinking technique.
6. Prepare for your bedtime: How well you sleep and think is influenced by your nighttime routines, particularly your mental routines. The way you sleep will have an impact on how productive you are when you wake up.
7. Fall asleep without worries: Learning to enter sleep more meditatively, gently wondering about your sleep thinking question rather than stressing about some life stressor, is a crucial component of the sleep thinking programme. When you become adept at this adjustment, you will also have mastered a practical stress-reduction method.
8. Surrender to nighttime brain work: The brain should be allowed to function freely. Sometimes our biases can come in the way of our tendency to be curious and have an open mind.
9. Record your thoughts down: Accept the possibility that your thoughts may keep you up at night. Your task, then, is to get up and record them.
10. Process night thoughts in the morning: The first thing to do in the morning is to allow time to process ideas that come into the mind at night. It will enable the brain to bring forth the answers.
11. Make sense of the information: Sometimes, the sleep thoughts are not clear and may require putting in some effort to make sense of them in their entirety.
12. Make use of the information: Sleep thinking not only gives you answers but also requires working on the answers. You will have to practically put the knowledge to use.
13. Plan for any necessary work or change: Make a plan for how you will work on the problem and apply the solution
14. Do the work: Once the plan is ready, you start working towards solving the problem.
15. Track the progress: As you strive to fix your difficulties, you’ll also want to monitor your progress. This continuous self-evaluation keeps track of your progress and warns you of any potential new or additional work that may be required.
16. Sleep think new issues: Sleep thinking is a continuous process. Some problems will be fully fixed, but another one that needs some sleep thinking may surface. Some problems could be challenging to solve, forcing you to consider fresh and novel ways.
17. Bring sleep thinking to daytime: Take a break in the middle of your hectic day to formulate a question, present it to yourself as a wonder, and give in to your natural tendency to problem solve.Doing so transforms sleep thinking into a whole problem-solving programme, enhancing your sleep thinking and all your other critical thinking abilities.
18. Live an examined life: The sleep thinking process is a self-examination of life where you learn to look at various issues such as happiness, mental health, relationships, etc. It’s not limited to a particular problem.
Sleep thinking may look daunting at first, but it can be effortless to follow once you start on the path. Some of the aspects can be a tad difficult such as managing anxieties. However, any work done will drastically improve your and your kid’s performance in robotics classes ,robotics programs and code lessons.