Want more creativity and feel rested at the same time…?
Great article on the power of taking naps.
Sleeping on a problem really can help solve it, claim scientists who discovered a nap can improve your powers of creativity.
Researchers found that people were able to think more laterally and quickly after a snooze and that if they dreamed the ability was even more enhanced.
The scientists believe that “incubating” a problem often leads to a solution but that the effect was increased when people entered a phase of sleep known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM).
They believe that REM- which occurs most predominantly just before we awake – helps the brain make connections between unrelated subjects.
REM sleep they concluded was “important for assimilating new information into past experience” to come up with creative solutions to problems.
The study, led by Professor Sara Mednick, a psychiatrist at the University of California, involved 77 young adults who were given a number of word associated creative tasks in the morning.
Participants were shown multiple groups of three words (such as: cookie, heart, sixteen) and asked to find a fourth word that can be associated to all three words (like sweet).
Later in the day after some were allowed a nap – and monitored using brain scans to see what kind of sleep they entered – they were given the same and new tasks.
For the same tasks, the passage of time and sleep allowed them to “incubate” their thoughts and come up with better and more varied solutions.
However for new tasks, it was found that those that entered REM sleep improved by almost 40 per cent over their morning performances .
Prof Mednick, who published her findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). said that it appears REM sleep especially helps achieve new solutions by allowing the brain to make new and useful associations between unrelated ideas.
“We found that – for creative problems that you’ve already been working on – the passage of time is enough to find solutions,” said Prof Mednick. “However, for new problems, only REM sleep enhances creativity.”
The researchers said that the findings suggested that sleep was a creative process and underlined the recommendation by Nobel Prize winning chemist Friedrich Kekule who said we must “learn to dream”.
The solutions to our problems lie within our reach. Your ability to step
back from the problem and see the bigger picture (things like sleep, daydreaming, walks in Nature, play, etc) can be the very thing you need most.
If you’re first reaction is “Hey – this is common sense – and nothing
new…” – ask yourself – “Do I actually do this in my life – or am I too
busy to take the time to actually do it?”.
We have many excuses for not doing what we know is the right
thing for ourselves, our bodies and even our planet.
Underneath our excuses is a a habit. If you’re prepared to
really be honest with yourself – and examine your habits,
a whole new life awaits you…
Feel free to add your comment below. Have a nice rest : – )