“Let me sleep on it.”  A common phrase that can mean one or more of the following:

  1. I want to delay telling you that the answer is “no.”
  2. I can’t make up my mind, so ask me tomorrow.
  3. I really need to think about it before making a decision.

Does “sleeping on it” make a difference?

In much the same way as pulling an “all-nighter” isn’t the best method to learn information or study for an upcoming exam, sleeping before making a big decision can actually be beneficial, according to a new study in Cell Journal.

We know that lack of sleep can cause risky decision making.  A Duke University study found that sleep deprived individuals may have an overly positive or optimistic view of risk and consequence – and inability to properly assess economic or monetary value.

The brain is very active during sleep, and much of that activity seems to be devoted to forming memory and consolidating information.  There is information to suggest that new creative insights and problem solving may actually occur during sleep.  Why?  Scientists remain unsure.

Should you sleep on it?  It’s probably not a bad idea.  But make sure that  you are getting enough sleep – and that the sleep you get is good quality, uninterrupted sleep!