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Should You “Sleep on It” before Making a Big Decision?

You should take time and “sleep on it” before making a big decision in high-pressure situations, because research has found it to be more effective than simply following intuition and making a quick choice. One study found that participants who slept before making a decision on which car to buy kept more important attributes in mind and selected higher-quality cars than participants who made quick decisions did. This is thought to be because the unconscious brain is more able to process details and determine the most relevant ones, thus leading to a more well-educated decision.

More about making decisions:

  • Another study found that after participants were given world soccer rankings, the ones who slept on it and allowed their unconscious brains to make decisions were more likely to correctly predict future match winners than those who made immediate predictions.

  • It is estimated that up to four hours per day is spent making decisions to resist temptations or desires.

  • Teenagers are up to 60% more likely to make unsafe decisions if they are in the presence of their friends, research shows.

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Discuss this Article

Euroxati
Post 3

In reference to the third bullet point, when around friends, it's a lot easier to make bad choices because you're in the "crowd". You don't want to look bad in front of your friends, and the peer pressure is crowding you.

Chmander
Post 2

@RoyalSpyder - Agreed. As an example, let's say that you had a big test tomorrow and you were thinking about cheating on it. Obviously that's a terrible thing to do, and it's better to weigh the pros and cons.

In the case, the pros would be that you easily pass the test, and that you wouldn't have to study. However, the cons would be that you didn't earn the grade, and that there are severe consequences if you get caught.

RoyalSpyder
Post 1

I definitely agree that sleeping on a big decision is much better than making a quick decision. Unlike instantly making a choice, where you may even regret said choice later, sleeping on a decision not only gives you time to relax, but even more so, it helps you to weight the pros and cons.

Due to this, when you make your decision, it's your final word, and not a quick impulse. This doesn't only relate to positive decisions a well, but it can also refer to making poor choices.

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