How the mind works when the body is asleep
Sleep is mainly thought of as of relaxation after a long, hard day. It can also be thought as a great time for the mind/body to rest. Many people are not aware of what happens when the mind and body are asleep. People believe that sleeping on a decision is the best way to come to a complex decision. We ask how does this happen and what causes this to be true? Also, what causes conscious thought to fail to act without unconscious thought?
When the body is asleep, the mind stays completely awake. The brain gathers all of the important from the day that has occurred. All of the data is recollected and remembered to improve one’s thoughts and decision making. When the mind recalls all of the information from the day before, the complex decision making process becomes easier. Sleeping causes the mind to relax and focus on the information needed to make a decision.
Scientifically speaking, we as humans pass through five phases of sleep. In stage one; we usually drift in and out of sleep. In stage two, our eye movement stops. Stage three consists of slow brain waves beginning to appear ending in smaller, faster waves. The fourth stage is considered deep sleep which is considered very hard to waken someone up from. Lastly, REM is a stage which consists of deep sleep with weird dreams. REM sleep is given signals from the base of the brain called the pons. These signals go to the outer part of the brain where the brain is known for thinking, recollecting information and learning new things.
It should be known to many the difference between conscious and unconscious thought. Conscious thought is known when one’s attention is used in thinking whereas unconscious thought is when the attention is not used. In reality, unconscious thought it more important than the conscious thought. For example, when speaking, the conscious thought is needed to speak correctly and express one’s thoughts but the unconscious thought processes are needed for it to work. The unconscious thought is needed to thoroughly articulate the information for the decision whereas the conscious thought is needed to pursue the decision. The two cannot act without each other. In conclusion, unconsciousness is very important and maybe even more important than conscious thought.
In some situations, “going with your gut” may seem like the best choice. But in reality, taking more time to think about the decision and recollecting data needed for the decision is known to be the best idea. Sleeping on the decision gives the body time to relax and focus on the decision being made. Thinking about the decision too much could become a downfall, but thinking about the facts regarding the decision will make the decision better. The mind works in mysterious ways especially when we are asleep. So many factors can affect a decision but sleeping can improve the complex decision making process.
When you sleep, your mind shuts off other factors that are unnecessary in making certain decisions. You lose sight of the other stresses in your life and can focus on individual problems. Because of this, your mind can think in a different way when you are asleep and allow you to see your situation from a different perspective. As a result, the decision making process is easier and a better decision can be made.
The idea that people act before thoroughly thinking out a situation is not new in the human species. We act on impulses and have feelings of regret and hatred after certain decisions are acted upon. Although the unconscious mind is needed to help make rational decisions, conscious mind is also very important. The two cannot act without each other. Sleeping on a decision and allowing you to look at the situation calmly and without additional stresses is very important, but conscious thought plays an active role as well. If humans allow themselves to think consciously and unconsciously, they will make a more rational and rounded decision regarding a situation.
“Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep.” : National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2013.
Dijksterhuis, Ap, and Loran F. Nordgren. JSTOR. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2013
“The Unconscious Mind.” The Unconscious Mind. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2013.