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Rest and Reset: Solving Your Creative Slump with Sleep

How Sleeping Aids Creativity. 

Are you struggling to find a killer hook? Or is that tricky scene between your protagonist and antagonist keeping you awake at night? It turns out that shutting down your laptop and getting a good night’s sleep may be the answer. 

No One Disputes the Need for Good Sleep 

Enough sleep, and we are alert and productive. Too little, and we’re sluggish and make mistakes and poor choices. So the question is how much sleep is enough? This will vary with age but the Sleep Foundation recommends between seven and nine hours a night for a healthy adult.

Alongside the health benefits, studies have also shown that sleep can boost our creativity by allowing our brain to continue to work on solving problems and generating new ideas as dreams.

Let Your Brain Do Its Job in Peace

As your physical body rests, the little grey cells carry on thinking without having to worry about any other annoying day-to-day processes. The creative right side and the analytical left side of the brain come together to effectively brainstorm the thoughts and experiences that have made up your day. This process results in dreams, the most important of which are stored away as memories. We’re only likely to remember those that happen just before we wake and while these can be surreal they can also be creative gold. 

Dream the perfect plot.          

Whether the stories are true, it’s said that both Robert Louis Stevenson and Mary Shelley dreamed up the plots for their novels, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Frankenstein. What better incentive for diving under the duvet could there be than knowing you might wake up with a story idea that will top the bestseller charts?

So sleep well, and while you’re sleeping, who knows what creative gems your busy brain will uncover.

Author

  • Jacqueline Harmon

    While studying for her doctorate in Medieval History Jac Harmon spent her time poking around in old buildings and reading manuscripts which gave her plenty of experience when it came to doing the research for her historical fiction. After many years spent working in university administration herding students she is now getting involved in voluntary work at a historic house and being trained in paper conservation. The idea behind this being that one day she’ll be allowed to get her hands on some of the rare books in the library there. Not that this will help with her current novel which is set in the seedy criminal underworld of late-Victorian London. An era of gas lights and grime which was purposefully chosen to give her an excuse to indulge in her love of all things Gothic. Dark twists and bad weather are to be expected.

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