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The Relationship between Creativity and Sleep
The relationship...
Sleep & Creativity
The majority of studies on sleep creativity have shown that sleep can facilitate...

The Relationship between Creativity and Sleep

January 5th 2016

The relationship between sleeping and creativity is the subject of much folklore and even admonitions to problem-solving such as advice to "sleep on it" when faced with a tough decision. Artists have long pointed to sleep and related bodily phenomena as a source and parallel to their creative pursuits.

Creators often talk of inspiration coming during a waking period similar to a dream and daydreams have long been connected with new ideas or syntheses of existing idea or applying existing ideas in new ways. Sleep brings a different approach.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge allegedly wrote the poem Kubla Khan after waking from an opium-induced dream, although some doubt this claim. Coleridge related the story years after he wrote the poem. Creativity may be easier to bring to fruition when the creator is in touch with unconscious and that happens during and around sleep. Scientists have found a connection between sleep and "aha!" creativity. Setting aside a problem for an incubation period can spur creativity and sleep can be such a period.

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