I bet you thought that burning the midnight oil was the best way to boost creativity. You’d be wrong. Sleep helps our minds to restructure ideas in a way that a tired brain would probably never think of.
Have you ever noticed that great ideas come to you in your sleep? They do! Maybe you’ve not been paying attention. As Neil Gaiman, author of several books, said, “[people] get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is that we notice when we’re doing it.” This holds true for other creatives as well.
To help you to get a better night’s sleep here a few quick tips:
Power down electronics! Yes we know, you think your phone (and other electronic devices) are extensions of yourself. They’ll still be there when you wake up. Power down at least an hour before bed time to help your mind unwind. extension
Ditch the caffeine! Caffeine is a stimulant and can help to keep you awake. Try not to drink any caffeinated beverages at least two hours before bedtime. If you feel like you NEED to have a hot drink before bed, try a non-caffeinated herbal tea. Chamomile is a good option.
Set a time for going to bed ...and stick to it! Drop whatever you’re doing (or make sure you finish up by bedtime) and head to bed at your set time. Bed times aren’t only for children. Sleep is a tool, use it well.
So you don’t have time to get your solid 8-9 hours of sleep per night? Scientists have researched and shown that daytime naps can be just as helpful. We’re not suggesting to replace 8 hours for a nap! But naps can help to boost creative thinking.
How do you make use of the ideas that come to you in your sleep? Keep a journal and pen by your bed or wherever you’re taking a nap. Jot down the ideas as soon as you wake up while they’re fresh in your head. Most times if you wait, the ideas may slip away.