People who sleep after processing and storing a memory carry out their intentions much better than people who try to execute their plan before getting to sleep, say psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis.
The researchers have shown that sleep enhances our ability to remember to do something in the future, a skill known as prospective memory.
Moreover, researchers studying the relationship between memory and sleep say that our ability to carry out our intentions is not so much a function of how firmly that intention has been embedded in our memories. Rather, the trigger that helps carry out our intentions is usually a place, situation, or circumstance—some context encountered the next day—that sparks the recall of an intended action.
This is interesting and useful research. It sounds like common sense.
My reaction is to try and plan my days work the night before, and specifically to plan ‘triggers’ to maximize the effect.