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How Sleep Affects the Creative Mind


Creativity requires a healthy body and imaginative mind. However, 17–19 hours of sleep deprivation leaves people act as though the brain is under the effect of 0.5% alcohol, together with 50% slower in total performance. This isn’t an ideal creative thought. This is why staying up late to cram in more work might seem like a great concept, but it will backfire very quickly.


Value of Sleep for Creativity


Lack of sleep has been associated with poor cognitive functioning such as poor focus, concentration, low creativity, erratic behavior, inability to multitask, and increased mistakes. These are executive functions needed to facilitate a creative or designer’s thoughts.


At some stage the body loses the ability to cope with insufficient sleep.


How Sleep Helps You Wake Up with a Creative Mind


As you sleep, you proceed through a set of different phases, which can be categorised into rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM (NREM) sleep. Moving through those phases after is called a sleep cycle.


A typical, healthy sleep cycle lasts for 90 minutes. The more time you sleep, the more sleep cycles you are going to ever have. On average, individuals get three to six sleep cycles per night. Sleep starts with stage 1 through 2, followed by 4 and 3, and eventually to REM.


Our body has a lymphatic system to drain out the waste and toxins at all times, but the brain’s waste disposal program just works efficiently during sleep. During REM sleep, the brain tissues really shrink to allow the cerebrospinal fluid to flow 10x quicker in between brain cells than when we are awake.


This Procedure removes toxins that collect when we’re awake, Resulting in improved executive skills such as:


— Concentration

— Focus and reactivity

— Decision making

— Problem solving

— Learning and memory

— Creativity

— Coordination

— Social skills

— Total disposition and Health


This mind cleaning helps clear toxins out like beta amyloid protein, which is known to accumulate in cases of Alzheimer’s disease. A 2018 study discovered that just 1 night of sleep deprivation left participants with a greater accumulation of beta amyloid protein.


The Function of REM Sleep at Creativity and Productivity


In accordance with the research , the part of the brain known as the hippocampus consolidates new information to long-term memories. Disrupted REM sleep may slow brain function. This is the reason why frequently sleep deprived individuals read a sentence a few times to comprehend the significance. This can be detrimental for creativity as the brain has difficulty generating and recalling new thoughts.


Dreams for Creativity and Problem Solving


Dreaming is a simulation of fact with complete visual imagery, sounds and intense emotions; nevertheless muscles are temporarily paralysed to permit security and rest. Dreaming can occur through different phases of sleep, including REM. But because REM sleep lengthens throughout the night, most men and women remember dreams that happen near waking up.


Photo, Ricardo Viana


Pattern Recognition


From a neuroscience perspective, dreams are simply a harmonisation process where the brain evaluates your latest experience and types through episodes of changing encounters during the day in order to spot patterns in data. The brain participates in auto-evaluation to select which memories to encode in long term.


Photo, Paweł Czerwiński


Essentially, the process sorts out and reinforces neural link, highlighting imaginative thought-processes that could not emerge during a hectic day. Throughout dreams, the brain can evaluate the problem without the interruption of the outside world, therefore having better clarity. This is the reason a problem that was too difficult is easy to solve in the daytime.


Mendeleev, a Russian chemist, desired to create a table of components arranged in order of atomic number. Appropriate organisation of components necessary brain focus and creativity.


Apparently, lack of sleep influenced Mendeleev’s ability to think creatively. Frustrated and tired, Mendeleev lay down to sleep. During sleep, REM sleep combined his memories of elements swirling in his mind. In his fantasy, the mind accomplished to recognise patterns and neural connections that lead to the clear organisation of elements that he could not see an exhausted brain. Awakening, immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper. Only in on place did a correction afterward seem necessary” –Page 220, Why We Sleep, Mathew Walker.


How Dreams Help with Emotional Rejuvenation


REM sleep also plays a part in emotional wellbeing, with individuals who have been prevented by having enough REM sleep having a decreased ability to deal with stress, nervousness, and distractions. Psychologists, like those here, are keen to stress the importance of sleep upon psychological health. When we encounter a problem during the day, it may seem overwhelming, but during dreams, the brain can appraise the issue without interruption of this outside world, therefore letting go of any catastrophes.


Strategies for a Better Night’s Sleep



  1. Create a 30-60 minutes relaxing and healthy Winding Down Routine
  2. Get sunshine exposure throughout the day
  3. Exercise regularly within 2-4 hours prior to bedtime
  4. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and smoking 4-6 hours before bedtime
  5. Prepare your bedroom surroundings for just sleep, sleep and sickness
  6. Manage temperature fluctuations with proper mattress, bedding and room temperature
  7. Eat healthy and avoid heavy and spicy meals over 2 hours prior to bed
  8. Promote healthful social interaction to promote emotional stability and a sense of wellness.
  9. Avoid computers, television, and screens (such as tablets or tablets) for at least an hour prior to bedtime.
  10. Create a list of things You’re thankful for
  11. Create a list of items You Have to do when you wake up
  12. Exercise your favorite relaxing activities like listening to music, playing an instrument, stretching, or singing

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