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The placebo effect on sleep

The placebo effect on sleep

A study shows that just by thinking that we had a good night's sleep, even if it is not true, we will have an optimal functioning of our brain.

In the same way that some clinical experiments have shown that placebo treatments (or sugar pill) give us positive results in patients who believe that what they took works, we can also get the placebo effect with sleep.

In a study by Christina Draganich and Kristi Erdal, of Colorado College, whose results were published in Journal Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, they discovered that just by considering that they had a good night of dream, the subjects of the experiment felt good and worked better the next day.

These tests were submitted 164 students to measure their sleep patterns. They were told that the pulse, heart rate and REM sleep phase would be measured in this test, although in reality it was a lie. The students of both groups also received a short lesson about sleep quality and its importance for cognitive functioning. They were informed that the average proportion of REM sleep in one night is between 20 and 25 percent.

The next day they were provided with false data: a group of volunteers were informed that they had obtained 28.7% REM sleep, above the average sleep quality. The second group was told that they had obtained 16.2% of this type of sleep, below the required quality of sleep.

It was noted that those participants who were led to believe that they had had a good sleep quality -or "Placebo dream"-, had a better performance in the mental exercise test, which measured their ability to process information than those who thought they had slept badly.

"These results support the hypothesis that thinking can influence cognitive states both positively and negatively, suggesting a means to control one's health and cognition," said Christina Draganich and Kristi Erdal.

For his part, Eric Howitz, a writer specialized in social sciences, adds in his blog “Peer-reviewed by my neurons” that “if you are able to convince yourself that the routine you carry out to go to sleep is working, whether reading , exercise or eat honey, you may see the cognitive benefits of an improvement in sleep, even on nights where you really do not sleep better. ”

So you know, the next time someone tells you that “faith moves mountains”, Believe it, it is certainly true.