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How Sleep Enhances Creativity

How Sleep Enhances Creativity

A good night sleep can foster creativity in more ways than one. Imaginative ideas are often manifested in dreams, but one tried and true solution to enhance creativity is a well-rested mind. The days are consumed by work, school or menial chores that fill up your head and by the last waking hour all your creative juices have been depleted. One side effect due to lack of sleep besides low-performing cognitive function is monkey mind. This scattered thought pattern can spiral out of control hindering the creative thinking process.

“Sleep is the best meditation.”
– Dalai Lama

The Magic of Sleep
Think of your slumber as the editing process. All the ideas, images and stories you exchange in a day are whittled down to the essential information you need.

During sleep, your mind processes all the stimulation you’ve absorbed. The brain quickly organizes significant synaptic connections gathered from big projects to the minutiae of your daily tasks. Next, the less significant data begins to diminish while strengthening and breathing life into the more meaningful thoughts, while making room for that information to mature and be nourished.

Have you ever heard of the idiom, “Sleep on it?” When an important decision is needed, sleep can guide us to make the best one.

Virtually all creatives have experienced periods of pulling all-nighters for the sake of completing a project. Maybe you have procrastinated until the last minute and feel that you thrive on those creative, adrenaline-driven late night kicks. That may be the case, but these are only effective for short-term spells. Forming a healthy sleeping routine will prove to be more enlightening than depriving yourself of the very activity that restores your mental faculties.

Dreaming up Masterpieces
Waking up after having a good dream can feel inspiring. Your slumber swept you away to a place that seemed profound, ethereal and omnipresent. You knew you were dreaming and even had some power to choreograph where the narrative was going. Those are called lucid dreams. They occur in the deepest stage of your slumber. These are the kind of potent dreams you feel compelled to share so that it lives on in your memory.

Many great artists have credited their own lucid dreams for inspiration on their work of art. Stephen King, John Lennon, Stephanie Meyer and many more have claimed their successful ideas were born from their dreams.

What’s so special about lucid dreaming is you can take an abstract idea or feeling and create your own characters, plot and setting in a place where anything is possible– your dreams.

“ I dream my painting and then I paint my dream.”
– Vincent Van Gogh

The best vehicle for better sleep is where you sleep. Shutting out light and blanketing yourself in the cozy cocoon of darkness is essential to paving the way to better sleep. Ready to recharge those creative batteries after a grueling day? The bed you lay your head down in should be comfy. Being in darkness will help you quiet your mind so that your brain can start working towards optimum function.