Write List of Things to Do Before Sleeping

ST. LOUIS, July 2 (UPI) — People write down their things-to-do list before going to sleep carry out their intentions better, U.S. researchers said.

Michael Scullin, a doctoral candidate in psychology, and his adviser, Mark McDaniel, a professor of psychology at the Washington University in St. Louis, said people’s ability to carry out intentions is not so much a function of how firmly that intention has been embedded in our memories.

Instead, the trigger that helps carry out intentions is often a place, situation or circumstance — some context encountered the next day — that triggers the recall of an intended event.

The study, published in the Psychological Science, showed sleep strengthens prospective memory — things people intend to do such as remembering to buy a birthday card.

“We found that sleep benefits prospective memory by strengthening the weak associations in the brain, and that hasn’t been shown before,” Scullin said in a statement.

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