This morning I awoke from a dream where I was on the top floor of the palace of Kim Jong-Il. There was some big event going on and each of the floors had just started serving coffee and delicious food. But we were all going to be moving to another palace later, perhaps for the main meal (it was only around 6 pm at this point), and I was hoping that I would be invited (because I wasn’t really sure what I was doing there in first place and therefore had no idea if I was supposed to be attending or not). In the background I heard dripping water and awoke to a minor leak in my ceiling due to the heavy rain. . .
Now, leaving aside my bizarre dreams that have me attending parties for dictators of other countries, my point is that sleep and dreams are amazing states of consciousness! I mean, I’m sure we could analyze why I was dreaming about being at a party in North Korea last night, but I just think it’s fantastic that somehow I managed to have that dream, as it bears no resemblance to the reality of my life whatsoever! I’m a full believer in getting your full 8 hours of recommended sleep time, and believe that one of the most important aspects of sleep is increased learning!
What’s even more exciting is that naps can increase your learning even more than getting just your recommended 8 hours every night! In this study it was determined that a mid day nap improved students ability to learn and retain new information. This is exciting for me because I’ve been trying to cram as much new information into my brain as possible lately, from CSS and HTML5 to Ruby! Earlier this week after a particularly overwhelming training session on Lynda.com on a subject I new very little about, I felt I just needed a nap because I’d hit the “overload” button on my brain capacity. After said nap I really felt ready to tackle the rest of the day, and was particularly productive after that.
So in addition to getting those regular z’s I highly recommend if you need to, taking a nap to restore brain function during the day and tackle new projects with the vigor of just having woken up!