Back to blog

Decision fatigue: why sleep helps you make better choices

Jonathan Warren

18.08.2011

Sleep

Jonathan Warren
sb10064105t-001It's no secret that good sleep allows you to make better choices during the day. However, a new article published this month in the New York Times has highlighted the concept of "decision fatigue", when people tend to make poorer decisions as the day goes on. Columnist John Tierney asserted that "no matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price". While the idea differs from regular physical fatigue in that you aren't aware of being tired, mental energy becomes more constricted. He explained that as you make more choices through the day, the brain starts to have enough and eventually "looks for shortcuts". One way is to act more recklessly or impulsively, while another is "the ultimate energy saver": simply doing nothing. Essentially, Mr Tierney underlined the importance of getting as much bed rest as possible. After all, with everything life throws at you, an extra hour between the sheets could prime you to make one of the biggest decisions in your life.

About the author

Jonathan Warren

Jonathan Warren

Time4Sleep owner