Hacking the human: If you want to understand something better, review your notes 2 hours prior to sleep. Not only do studies show neuroplastic changes occur in the brain with 2 hours of steady activity, but during the sleeping hours of 11 pm to 1 am your brain releases specific neurotransmitters to solidify connections. The newly formed “connections” between neurons will synapse easier during waking hours and you will discover you understand the topic easier.
Giving away my greatest secret - How to get over an ex/death in the family/bad experience or achieve a long term goal: My last post regarding sleep and synapses explains more than just learning new topics but also how to “get over” something.
Before you go to sleep, it is your alone time, thus thinking is typically loudest. If you consistently think about a negative situation prior to bed, the neurons responsible for that thought will solidify during sleeping hours (your brain reinforces the last few things you think about before sleep). For example: if you think negative thoughts nightly, such as “My life sucks”, every day appears worse due to the tighter junctions between these “negative thinking” synapses. It is important to ask yourself a question repeatedly prior to bed such as, “How do I benefit from this situation”, “What is the lesson I am to learn from this”, or simply focus on a goal prior to bed… miraculously you will feel better each day, answer questions you couldn’t in the past, or you will begin to take steps that you normally wouldn’t during your waking hours to approach that goal.
I once mentioned this at Body Worlds and an old engineer approached me confessing that this was the method he used to derive answers to complex questions he had regarding his work. I personally use this technique to overcome setbacks or ponder questions in science. I do not find it to be mere coincidence that shortly after, I began publishing, learned how to draw, and started to document the facts that you are reading. In fact, the majority of facts I write, I did not learn in school, but they surfaced through asking myself questions prior to sleep. Try it.
(Television should never be the last thing entering your mind prior to sleep. Synapses that promote fear and consumption solidifying their connections while you sleep.)