Creativity Information

Sleep and Creativity


In my life, sleep is the number one way that I can either enhance my self-care and nourish myself or defeat my self-care and deplete my energy, peace of mind & productivity all in one shot.

When I'm rested I'm more resilient to stress. My body is more flexible and willing to work, my head is more clear and focused, I feel happier and more at peace and I'm nicer to myself AND to everyone else.

When I'm overtired, on the other hand - my body and my emotions feel more brittle. Unexpected turns can send me into a hurricane of a tizzy, my mind is foggy and I'm much less likely to be kind to you OR me.

I know this. I've known this for some time now. So, you'd think I consistently get enough sleep to make sure that first scenario happens all the time, right? After all, I AM the "Self-Care Coach", my self-care must be perfect, right?

Well??.not so much.

As well as writing about sleep, I must mention another self-care concept here - in order to explain why I'm a bit bleary-eyed today. The concept is SELF-SABOTAGE.

The dictionary definition of sabotage is "an act or process tending to hamper or hurt" or "deliberate subversion". Why on earth would we sabotage ourselves? That's a complicated answer. And a simple one. We choose to.

Sometimes it's so frightening to imagine changing, growing or making conscious choices that we deliberately hamper our own efforts. We make choices every minute of every day. Our life is up to us. These are intimidating thoughts. And doing things the way we've always done them feels safe and comforting.

I know I'll feel so much better if I get a good night's sleep. And sometimes, for whatever reasons, I don't choose to "feel good".

And when self-love and common sense win out and I AM able to do what I need to do in order to get a good night's sleep, I am rewarded.

Aside from benefits I've already mentioned, a good night's sleep can also have specific rewards for us creatively. A few months ago I came across an article titled "Does a good sleep make you smarter?" (www.msnbc.com, in the "Health" section). The article described a research project going on at the University of Luebeck in Germany, which has determined that a good sleep not only makes us smarter and better at problem-solving, but more creative as well!

The article points out that "history is dotted with incidents where artists and scientists have awakened to make their most notable contributions after long periods of frustration."

In other words, when we're struggling with a problem in the hours before sleep, our brains actually keep working on the problem while we're sleeping, and the answer might just "pop out" in the morning!

So, the longer and more restful sleep that we have, the more time there is for our "sleeping brain" to work on the problem that our "awake brain" has been struggling with.

This relates to the common spiritual practice of praying, before bed, for the solution to a problem, or to the self-help practice of writing a question on a piece of paper and slipping that under your pillow before bed.

So what stops you from getting a good night's sleep? How do you sabotage your efforts? Over-work? Television? Internet surfing or gaming? Food, drink or other substances that make it difficult to sleep? Irregular sleep habits?

Here are the five things that work best for ME for getting a good night's sleep.

1. Turning off the computer and television one hour before I'd like to be asleep. This gives me time to wind down, quiet my thoughts and prepare myself for sleep.

2. Getting out of bed early on the weekends. This means I don't stay up too late or sleep in too long on the weekends. I try and keep my bedtime and wake-up times within about an hour of what I do during the week. Otherwise I spend half the week getting re-adjusted and life's too short!!

3. Giving up caffeine. Even before I gave it up completely, I really had to limit my caffeine and "just say no" anytime after about 5:00 p.m. or else the caffeine affected my sleep that night.

4. Breathing techniques and other relaxation exercises. Just a few minutes of deep breathing can calm me and send me right off to sleep.

The simplest tips are to focus on breathing from the belly (diaphragmatic breathing) and to focus on long exhalations (exhalation is associated with the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for relaxation).

5. Setting the scene with music. I use music both as I'm winding down and getting ready for bed, and as I'm going to sleep. I've experimented to find the music that best does the job for me; this is obviously a very individual choice.

I recommend either instrumental music or vocal music that is either without words or sung in a language you don't understand (so you're not mentally caught up in the words as you're trying to fall asleep). Wind instruments (I like the shakuhachi flute) are nice since the natural breaths and pauses that the musician takes can mirror your own deep, slow breathing.

Have you ever woken up in the morning (or in the middle of the night!) with the solution to a problem, a new idea for a song, or another creative spark? That sounds like the work of a good night's sleep!

This article was originally published on the Muses Muse Songwriter's Resource website (January 2005) http://www.musesmuse.com.

(c) Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services.

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. To receive her free monthly newsletter, "Everyday Artist", subscribe at http://www.genuinecoaching.com/artist-newsletter.html


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Entrepreneur

Stop Trying to Be 'Mindful.' It Might Be Killing Your Creativity.
Entrepreneur
The researchers found that lots of mind wandering was strongly related not only to higher intelligence, but also to higher levels of creativity. Associate psychology professor Eric Schumacher, one of the study's authors, said in a news release about ...



Forbes

How To Unleash Your Creativity, From A Stanford Professor
Forbes
Everyone has ideas. Some of us even have great ideas. But not everyone has ideas that grow into multi-million dollar businesses. What is it about those few people that makes them capable of using their creativity in such clever entrepreneurial ways ...



Winston-Salem Journal

WFU engineering students test their creativity with cardboard | Local ...
Winston-Salem Journal
There are few things as simple and commonplace as a chair — unless Wake Forest University's budding engineers have anything to say about it.

and more »


Cherry Hill Courier Post

Flyers' confidence breeding creativity in their play
Cherry Hill Courier Post
PHILADELPHIA — Back in preseason the Flyers showed signs of being the Harlem Globetrotters of hockey. They were making slick passes through opponents, taking risks and having them pay off. It looked like they were in midseason form while everyone else ...



INFORUM

'Creativity is life': Local renaissance man devotes retirement plans to the arts
INFORUM
"I believe that the true essence of creativity is when the mind connects the hand and draws that first line or the first notation of musical composition," he says. Pellerano moved from New Jersey to Minot through the Air Force in 1971 and instantly ...

and more »


Firstpost

Creativity and imagination are as crucial for science as they are in the arts
Firstpost
In his 1926 book titled The Art of Thought, social psychologist Graham Wallas described the four stages of creativity: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification. It is the stage between incubation and illumination that involves the most ...



Panagbenga 2018, a festival of creativity
Business Mirror
THE staging of the 2018 Panagbenga, now on its 23rd year, goes with the theme “Celebration of Culture and Creativity.” It takes off from the latest laurel of the city. It was declared the first Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts in the country ...

and more »


whatcomtalk.com

Relieve Stress with Creativity
whatcomtalk.com
I have always enjoyed creative projects and art, but in my adult life have found it to be a great way to relieve stress. No matter how busy my life gets, I make it a priority to have a couple hours every week to use my creative side. And I have found ...



Forbes India

Boosting your creativity with negative emotions: The case of self-conscious emotions
Forbes India
Positive affectivity, positive psychological states, and positive moods are believed to stimulate creativity and innovativeness. The practical implications become obvious when you take a look at modern organizations in creative industries. Google ...



Sarah Coyne: Fewer toys at Christmas means less later clutter, more creativity
Joplin Globe
Usually, when I sweep into a room like this and declare my intentions, there is widespread groaning and gnashing of teeth. I can't understand why; it happens every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas, so my family should be used to it by now ...


Google News

home | site map | Ocean Art
© 2006