An interesting article in the New Scientist: While you slumber, your brain puts the world in order notes that during sleep we don’t only strengthen our memories but we also extract themes and rules from the masses of information we soak up during the day.
Bob Stickgold from Harvard Medical School, the author of the report, said “We’re not just stabilising memories during sleep, we’re extracting the meaning.”
This ties in well with my experience, particularly on NLP trainings where our trainers would suggest that our ‘other-than-concious’ minds should and would process what we’d learnt during the day. I certainly found that I would sleep well on these courses (and dreamed like a lunatic), a sign for me at least that sorting, classifying and integrating of the learning was going on whilst I rested in the ‘Land of Nod’.
At the end of the day I suppose this is just another scientific validation of the old adage that ‘we should sleep on it’.