Imagine you’re on stage, with an audience quietly listening, and when the conductor gives the orchestra the first downbeat, they begin to play another concerto, one you have not prepared. What would you do? You can watch what Maria João Pires did below.
There are some really interesting research projects coming out of the neuroscience lab at Northwestern University. A couple years ago, I wrote a blog post about a
study that shows we continue to learn after a study session if the stimulus continues while we’re doing something else. Pretty cool, right? But maybe you prefer to catch up on your sleep and continue learning.
Set aside half an hour every day to do all your worrying; then take a nap during this period.
There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.
~Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid: 43 BC – 18 AD)
Sleep is one of the key strategies the brain uses for learning. It’s called consolidation in the research literature. Basically put, your brain needs down time in order to process all that you’ve taken in during the day. Naps can perform the same function.