Have you ever felt irritable, drowsy and found it difficult to concentrate on daily tasks at home or work? Most of us have gone through this, next time this happens to you, stop and think how much rest you got the night before. Less or no sleep is usually the cause for all these and more issues we face during the day. A good night’s rest is very important not only to function effectively but to also boost creativity.
Understanding the brain:
Let's first understand how the brain functions, it is divided into 2 halves - left side and right side. The left side of the brain is more analytical, methodological in nature, loves structure and rules. The right side is more artistic, imaginative and loves to think outside of the box.
It is said that a person is either left or right brained depending on your personality. While the right side of the brain is more creative in nature, both contribute to the creative process. Better sleep helps in making connections, solving problems and performing effectively.
So what happens to the brain while we sleep?
The brain goes through 2 different types of sleep patterns - REM sleep and non-REM sleep. Non-REM cycle is the first stage which helps prepare the body for deep sleep. There are 4 cycles involved in the non - REM stage gradually entering REM. It used to be believed that REM was the most important part of sleep, however even non-REM is important for learning and memory. As you enter the REM stage, brain wave activity increases and you start dreaming. Your body becomes temporarily paralysed which prevents you from acting out your dreams.
Sleep and Creativity:
Ever noticed how you sometimes wake up with answers to problems that were troubling you throughout the day? This is usually when you have woken up from your REM cycle. During REM, the brain activity is very high but the body is not. Additionally it also releases chemicals to the brain which helps it make connections between unrelated things causing you to solve problems while you are napping. This helps in seeing things in a different angle or view which wasn't possible while being awake.
Now you know, to be more creative and effective in your daily life, a daily night snooze is an integral part. So don’t skimp on it to get more work done as it would affect it drastically and you would probably be doing it wrong.
The Science of Sleep, Understanding what happens when you sleep, Year, John Hopkins Medicine
Left Brain vs. Right Brain: What does this mean to me. 2019. Healthline
How Sleep may boost creativity, 2021,Science news
Sleep and Creativity, 2020, Enticare