Got a Problem: Sleep on It!!!

When we are stuck with a problem to which we cannot find a solution through our logical thinking, even though we’ve tried all different options that would make sense, there might be a chance in solving it in our dreams.

I remember when I was in middle school I had a math deduction to do, for extra credit, at night I tried many different options, but did not get to the desired outcome. I could not allow myself not to get it, I was good in math, I loved math and I could not allow myself not to do it, so I tried for around an hour or two to get to the right deduction. It was just before bedtime that I was still trying different options until I noticed it was late and  was tired, so I went to bed…sure enough, when I woke up I had the answer in my head. I went straight to my homework table and wrote it down and I had it! I felt so proud of myself. When I got to school I was one of three that actually got it, and I was selected to do it in front of the class…

Now I know that my brain was working through the night, making connections, different connections that allowed me to get to the right path of deduction, connections that my logical thinking did not explore. I’m not saying the answer was illogical, it was just a different view point that was needed to get to it.

There is a technique known as Incubation. It is used to focus on any type of problem before sleeping and expects to encourage the brain to find out an innovative solution in its chaotic and creative state during our sleep. This technique involves different steps: briefly reviewing the problem before going to sleep; then, while in bed, visualizing that we are dreaming about the problem and suggesting ourselves we will do so as we dream. We should be prepared to recall and write whatever we recall of our dream as soon as we wake up.

If we are successful through this technique, the solution we get has come from unexpected, nonlogical paths that emerge from the nature of the brain connections that happen as we dream.

Not surprisingly, I kind of did all the steps of Incubation technique without knowing it long ago, and I got my answer in the morning…I