Have you ever had someone ask a question that you know you know the answer to, but you can’t quite find it? The answer feels like it’s on the tip of your tongue. You know it’s in your head somewhere, but it won’t reveal itself. It’s super frustrating. You rack your brains trying to muster up the word.

Later on, in the middle of the night or when doing something completely unrelated, the answer pops into your head as if by magic. This also happens with solutions to problems you haven’t yet been able to solve.

This is your default mode network in action. It whirrs away all the time, finding answers while you do other things. When you’re at rest, your default mode network is working to make sense of your world. It goes through your brain’s archives to store memories, and can retrieve information too.

This is partly why resting is so important to high performance and cognitive function. Without rest, the subconscious never gets chance to find the answers that your conscious mind can’t. The default mode network remembers what you tell it. It creates the library of your life and all the neural pathways that dictate your thoughts, words and actions.

The next time you hit the wall or go blank, take a rest and let your default mode network do its job.