We’ve all heard it before. Something happens that causes us to be angry, anxious, or stressed, and just as we’re about to do something about it, someone tells us to “sleep on it.” As it turns out, that’s actually really good advice.
A new book by Matthew Walker discusses how rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep can help heal painful emotions. He conducted a study that determined when we are in REM sleep, that is the only time our brain doesn’t have noradrenaline, a stress-related chemical. Our stress levels are much lower during REM sleep as well, meaning you can dream about a stressful or emotional situation that has occurred without having an emotional reaction to it.
In the end, Walker’s study shows that sleep works as “overnight therapy” where we can replay certain situations and not have an immediate reaction to it.