Sleep on it…well, yeah

Another random aside from Jesse…I have noticed a few different sources talking about the fact that information is best distributed in manageable amounts with sleep or significant rest time between portions (of knowledge). The fact that so many people are talking about this surprises me, not because it isn’t true, but because of the amount of time this has been discussed. This has been discussed in cognitive literature for a while, but seems to be getting more attention now in the education literature. It isn’t a matter of these folks didn’t read the correct literature in their field, it is the lack of interdisciplinarity in much of this education and cognitive research. It is also an issue that there are SO MANY sources out there that it is impossible to research them all and still do research of your own.

As an undergrad in classes over a decade ago in Anthropology we were talking about this cognitive issue from two angles: 1) Always take field notes before you go to sleep since many of the details will be forgotten while you sleep, because 2) your mind processes the information gathered during your day so that it is better accessible. It is much like Vista defragging your hard drive when the OS is not being actively used. While my description is a huge oversimplification of the notion, it is something that folks are rightly pointing out.

My two points for this post:
1) work with a well rounded group of researchers when you can, and
2) when you are teaching/training, remember to give your students time to work through (sleep on) those big concepts

OK, random musings for the day blathered about…on with your day!