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Can we trick ourselves into sleeping better?

Get Better Sleep By Just Thinking You Did
If you're thinking you should have caught a few more winks last night, we have some good news for you. A new study shows you might be able to trick yourself into thinking you had a good night's sleep, even when you didn't. "CBS This Morning" explains:

'They took 164 participants and explained brain science and sleep and told these participants REM sleep will improve your brain performance.'


The participants were then asked to rate the prior night's sleep from 1 to 10.

Then, as The Telegraph reports, the researchers told students a new machine could measure the quality of their sleep from the night before by measuring their pulse, heart rate and brainwave frequency.

But this machine doesn't actually work - they made it all up. All participants were hooked up to the fake machine and then separated into two groups.

'The ones that were told they had more REM sleep did better on tests of performance, despite how they thought they slept the night before,' CBS explains.

But can simply repeating to yourself over and over that you had great sleep really be the key to feeling rested?

One researcher told Popular Science that the answer is ... maybe. He said that if 'you're able to convince yourself that your bedtime routine is working - whether it's reading, exercising, or eating honey - you might see the cognitive benefits of improved sleep even on nights when you don't actually sleep better.'

And if you aren't so convinced, hitting the hay a little earlier can also do the trick.

Join the discussion

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imd89 January 27 2014 at 5:53 AM

More wasted money for research that has no basis!!! Does not take into account each persons over all scores of past test.

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Kathy imd89 January 27 2014 at 9:29 AM

So what kind of research do you think should be done?After all sleep is VERY important and some people have sleep problems. The basis that people can convince themselves they are rested and have improvement in their thoughts. And are they taking the money out of your pocket? Most researchers have grants, after making proposals. And more get rejected than granted. So unless YOU are paying, it's not your place to say what can and can not be researched.

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Mark January 27 2014 at 10:27 AM

Another dumb, useless, faked study.

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Sylvia January 27 2014 at 12:01 PM

If it works, then it is good. It's all in the mind

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darlingtonnative January 27 2014 at 11:28 AM

"The mind is it's own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven" (or words very close to that)....John Milton. Of course a good night's sleep will help even more. Avoid caffeine within 6 hours of sleeping (because caffeine has a 6 hour half life). Meditate or pray before sleeping helps, as does not listening to the TV or News before sleeping. Being positive and being appreciative can always help but a certain amount of sleep is necessary for good health, just as depriving one of sleep can eventually do damage to the minds ability to think well.
A word of wisdom for students. If you must cram for an exam do so BUT always sleep on what you studied before you take that exam, otherwise the cramming will be mostly wasted. That trick, which I somehow knew instinctively, helped me a great deal when I was a student in school. (I'm still a student, but of life).

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opwill January 27 2014 at 1:56 PM

I'll read this after my nap. Maybe......

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