Don't sleep on it.

If you experience a horrific or upsetting event and then decide to "sleep on it," you're making a bad situation worse, according to a new study from The University of Massachusetts.

They've discovered:

"a person's emotional response after witnessing an unsettling picture or traumatic event is greatly reduced if the person stays awake afterward, and that sleep strongly "protects" the negative emotional response. Further, if the unsettling picture is viewed again or a flashback memory occurs, it will be just as upsetting as the first time for those who have slept after viewing compared to those who have not."

Kind of explains the old question, 'how do you sleep at night'? The body doesn't want to let you go to sleep if you've witnessed things that you knew were wrong:

"It's interesting to note that it is common to be sleep-deprived after witnessing a traumatic scene, almost as if your brain doesn't want to sleep on it."


My brain is terrible for this, if I've got a worry stuck in my head I can't sleep on it. I'll be up all night trying to fathom an answer. I remember my first ever experience of this like it was yesterday. I'd lost my little Boba Fett toy and was frankly traumatised. It'd been misplaced at school and my 8 year old brain was devastated. I was awake until four in the morning worrying about it. I remember the sun coming up and thinking bad things would happen now I'd not got to sleep.

Also, maybe that's why a lot of my generation remember quite rubbish Dr Who monsters as being scarier than they actually are. It was on just before bedtime, it'd be the last thing you watched before your young brain went to sleep. Meh, I'm just thinking out loud but, you know some of that stuff was very silly.

On a not entirely unrelated topic, I wonder how this memory study relates to the weird phenomena of banging your head on a pillow once for every hour of sleep you want to have just before you drift off? That does sort of seem to work, not as accurate as an alarm clock I'll grant you but in need of scientific investigation at some point.

NM

FURTHER READING

Quotes taken from FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Boba Fett's Wookieepedia entry is HERE.

FURTHER VIEWING:

JOHN LENNON - How do you sleep at night?

An unpleasant song from his Imagine album directed at Paul McCartney. Those two got nice and nasty with each other in public during the 70's.

MATT BAKER ASKS DAVID CAMERON - How do you sleep at night?

An odd moment in daytime television. I'm sure, Baker, enjoyed a lot of backslapping behind the scenes for this one as he bought a round of drinks with his licence fee funded pay cheque.

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