Dan Levitin’s latest research on the power of sleep to bolster and ignite creativity is fascinating. For writers, this research is especially valuable because one of our chief tasks is to connect disparate dots of information to create a cohesive story.
Levitin reveals a number of actionable pieces of advice on how to make our sleep cycles most beneficial to our imagination. The brain prioritizes the thoughts we have right before going to sleep and spends a good deal of its sleep time working on them. I’ve been spending time before bed working on my most important personal projects and challenges. The results of this practice have been amazing for me. I’m waking up with insights and connections in my work that I haven’t been able to see in my waking hours. I’ve also been going to bed and waking up hours earlier than usual and that’s tripped a powerful switch, too.
While we often think of creativity as elusive and unexplainable, I’m fascinated to learn how we can engineer it at least to some extent. At the very least there is much we can do to make room for its arrival and help it to feel welcomed and valued. Sometimes all we need is awareness and openness. Sometimes all magic needs is a space to happen. Get some shut-eye and create.