Offloading our repeating thoughts before going to bed can improve sleep.
This form of extended cognition will allow our brains to let go of the ruminations that may be keeping us up at night.
Researchers proved this in a study where they had participants spend 5 minutes writing a to-do list before they went to bed.
- "Participants in the to-do list condition fell asleep significantly faster than those in the completed-list condition.
- The more specifically participants wrote their to-do list, the faster they subsequently fell asleep, whereas the opposite trend was observed when participants wrote about completed activities.
- Therefore, to facilitate falling asleep, individuals may derive benefit from writing a very specific to-do list for 5 min at bedtime rather than journaling about completed activities."