Tag Archives: performance

Sleep and learning are inextricably linked. Albert Camus understood the connection: “Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.” But the sleep you catch up on in class is not going to get you to your best grades or test scores. Instead, how and when you hit the pillow exerts a tremendous impact on your performance the next day. The Motherlode blog at the New York Times explored the concept of tailoring sleep patterns to desired outcomes. In essence, the author suggests the following: Facing a trivia contest, spelling bee, or test based on memorized information? Go to sleep early to get as much Stage 1 deep sleep as you can. Deep sleep is when the brain consolidates new information. Facing a big sporting event, performance, or test based on practiced physical skills? Sleep late enough to enjoy sufficient quantities of Stage 2 sleep. Stage 2…

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Have you ever experienced one or more of these symptoms? No spontaneous thought An intensified, fixed, internalized awareness An expansion of especially clear awareness into ambient space The disappearance of the bodily self A distinctive closing off of all sight and sound A deep, blissful serenity A marked slowing or cessation of respiration Don’t worry: you weren’t abducted by aliens (I hope).  Instead, you attained that elusive and magical state of flow that only comes from total absorption. Some associate this state with the deep internal absorption that comes from skilled meditation. Others refer to it as the Coder’s High. But you don’t need to live in Tibet or work in Silicon Valley to find this bliss. The flow state finds us when we are fully absorbed in accomplishing a complex and worthy task. Great works of art may be immersive but not truly absorbing unless we’re creating them. The flow state is…

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