It is Saturday night, 2am, still watching your favorite TV show and even hesitating to start the next episode right after. But you suddenly remember that you must play your chess game tomorrow and that you promised your kids picking up the chocolate breads for the breakfast. You realize you’ll only have 6 hours of sleep if by luck you manage to fall asleep directly. And here you are, hoping for a quick draw and not feeling lethargic all the day long.
This kind of episode sounds familiar to you?
I’ll present you the placebo sleep trick then. It could not only save your day, but also lead you to an unexpected win.
The placebo effect
Quickly said, the placebo effect occurs when you tell people they are taking a drug they think to be pharmaceuticals, give them a fake pill that does nothing, and it still leads to improvements in their health.
In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, conclusion appeared that simply thinking that you got a good night’s sleep can make your brain work better .
For the quick story, some students were given a lecture on how getting better sleep improves cognitive function. They were afterwards told a new technology could measure their sleep quality from the night, which was actually a complete lie. After a night test, they split the participants in two groups pretending that one slept more qualitatively than the other.
And guess what? Results showed that the group who thought being better rested also performed better on a cognitive test.
Hack your brain
This study shows the power of the mind. You can obviously not find someone to lie to you about how well you slept, but what you can do however, is to condition yourself.
So next time you have a bad night, make the effort to focus on how much rest you actually got, rather than constantly reminding how tired you are. Hack your brain yourself along the day by repeating to yourself you slept perfectly well and you are fully energized.
Don’t get me wrong, the placebo sleep trick is just in case of emergency because your sleep is too precious not to be respected. But in case you didn’t log a solid eight hours, the technique is worth trying no?