The Creative Power Of Your Sleep: 10 Easy Practices

 / 

The Creative Power Of Your Sleep

Creativity is not a privilege or a gift. It is a natural capacity of all humans, the dynamic outgrowth of healthy living. Your creative potential can be cultivated and strengthened, or diminished and ignored. If you are interested in boosting your creative energies, take a close look at your sleep and dreams.

There are several easy practices you can learn to draw maximum power from the natural rhythms of your mind and body during sleep. If you are not engaging in these kinds of practices already, you may be limiting your creative efforts in other directions.

lack of sleep

These 10 suggestions build on each other. The more you do with the early ones, the better you’ll do with the later ones.

1. Develop and maintain regular sleep patterns.

This is the simplest yet the hardest thing for many people to do. We vary greatly in how much sleep we need, when we prefer to go to sleep, what time we naturally wake up, etc. Some people need only five or six hours of sleep per night to feel good and rested, while others need at least eight or nine.

Find out what your ideal sleep pattern is, and make it an intentional practice to preserve and protect it. Even moderate sleep deprivation can have negative effects on cognitive functioning, and the first thing to weaken is your mental flexibility and capacity to adapt to novel situations. To keep your mind at its creative best, take good care of your sleep patterns.

Also read 10 Things Most Successful People Do Right Before Bed

2. Pay attention to threshold experiences between waking and sleep.

The moments when you are just fading from wakefulness to sleep (the hypnogogic state) and when you are transitioning out of sleep into wakefulness (the hypnopompic state) frequently include odd bursts of thought, imagery, and emotion.

The brain is working in an unusually complex way during these brief, liminal experiences, and many artists and innovators have said they draw creative inspiration from this particular capacity of the mind.

If you pay attention to the mental flashes that cross your awareness while moving in and out of sleep, you may find some strange jewels of insight and intuition.

Sleeping After Learning Help Boost Memory And Allow The Brain

3. Experiment with sleep trackers, then put them aside.

“Know thyself” is a good motto with sleep as with any other aspect of one’s life. Numerous sleep trackers are available, and they can give you a basic sense of how the rhythms of your sleep are shaped by the alternation of your brain between phases of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep.

If you use any sleep tracker over time, you will see for yourself how you tend to get more non-REM sleep during the first half of a regular night’s sleep, and more REM sleep in the second half. This is valuable information to know because it will help you refine and optimize your sleep patterns going forward.

Also read How Uncanny Dreams Help You Discover New Spiritual Insights

4. Protect the final REM phase of the night.

During non-REM sleep, your brain slows down somewhat, but when it enters REM sleep, your brain becomes as intensely activated as it is when you are wide awake. Why is that? What is the brain doing in REM sleep that’s so important it justifies this massive expenditure of neural energy?

I think the answer is clear: The brain is dreaming. The brain needs to dream. Not all dreams occur during REM sleep, but most probably do.

Our Most Vivid Dreams Happen During Rapid Eye Movement

The longest phase of REM sleep usually occurs at the end of the sleep cycle. So if you want to help your mind get the most creative stimulation from the natural rhythms of your sleep cycle,

I suggest you do whatever you can to protect the final REM phase of the night. If you can avoid disruptions to your sleep during that time, you will give your mind its best opportunity to draw strength from the powerful dynamics of your dreaming imagination.

5. Take advantage of rebound sleep.

Most people have busy lives, and every now and then, something happens to shake up your normal sleep cycle. You stay up late for a party, you travel a long distance, you’re taking care of someone who’s sick—whatever it is, you don’t sleep well for a night or two. Fortunately, the human sleep cycle is flexible, so you can make it through such sleep-starved times without any lasting damage.

The one predictable consequence of brief sleep deprivation is that when you can sleep normally again, you will experience a “rebound” of more sleep than usual. It’s as if your brain is making up for the lost time.

Researchers have found that rebound nights can be especially dense in REM sleep. So if you can foresee a night when you’ll just be back from a tiring trip, or just finished with a big work project, or something like that, make sure you really give yourself a chance to sleep as long as you can. You will likely be rewarded with an especially bountiful harvest of dreaming.

Kids Who Sleep With Their Pet Enjoy Better Sleep Quality

6. Keep a dream journal, starting with dreams from early in life.

Once you start paying attention to your dreams, you’ll want to record them in some kind of journal or notebook. When you’re just beginning a dream journal, it’s helpful to write down some of the earliest dreams you can remember, from all the way back in childhood if you can recall any. This is a way of priming your dreaming imagination and initiating the process of bringing your dreams out into the waking world.

All sorts of good creative energies flow from the simple practice of keeping a dream journal.

7. Pay attention to patterns.

Once you begin paying attention to your dreams, you’ll notice recurring themes, images, and characters. These patterns are clues to your own psychological concerns, strengths, and vulnerabilities.

Many artists and innovators have found inspiration by honestly confronting the dark themes of bad dreams and nightmares, so don’t be discouraged if you find negativity in your dream patterns. Even the darkest dreams also have elements of light.

As you track your dreams over time, you’ll get better at seeing the amazing multiplicity of meanings, beyond simplistic dichotomies between light and dark.

8. Explore lucid dreaming — awareness, not just control.

Lucid dreaming is the experience of becoming conscious within the dream state. This can be exhilarating and transformative; it’s a kind of Enlightenment experience, realizing how we create the realities in which we live. Many religious and spiritual traditions, especially Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism, have pursued the creative potential of the mind in lucid dreaming, and this potential exists within everyone.

Have you ever experienced that

People in contemporary Western society should be careful, however, not to be misled by promises about controlling or manipulating dreaming, as if it were merely a virtual-reality construct. The waking ego can achieve a degree of control over the dreaming process, but far more is lost than gained by such efforts. Try to become more conscious and aware in your dreams, not more domineering and self-centred.

Also read 8 Mystical Herbs And Legal Psychedelics For Lucid Dreaming

9. Experiment with dream incubation and pre-sleep intentionality.

Dream incubation is the practice of preparing oneself for a special kind of dream. Many religious and cultural traditions have developed dream incubation rituals involving a special place, or time of year, or prayers and incantations to elicit a dream response.

Today you don’t need anything more esoteric than a clear mind that focuses on a specific question, problem, or concern before getting into bed. If you go to sleep with the intention of opening yourself to whatever your dreaming imagination has to say in reply, you will almost surely receive something of interest when you wake up the next morning. It’s not an automatic process, but the mere effort of welcoming a dream like this is a creativity-stimulating practice.

10. Find someone with whom you can share dreams.

You can learn a lot by exploring your own dreams. You can learn even more by sharing your dreams with others and listening to their dreams in return. There’s no need for deep analysis or elaborate interpretation; just talking with another person about dreams helps bring your creative energies and intuitions more fully into the waking world.

Please share this article with anyone who you may think will find it valuable and helpful.


Written by:Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D
Originally appeared on:Psychology Today 
Republished with permission 
The Creative Power Of Your Sleep pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

Which Magical Beast Is Your Spirit Guardian? Take This Harry Potter Patronus Quiz To Find Out

The Harry Potter Patronus Quiz: Interesting Types

Ever wonder if there’s a hidden connection between you and a particular animal? One way to find out is with the help of the Harry Potter Patronus quiz!

What is my Patronus?

In the magical world of Harry Potter, a Patronus is a powerful, protective spell that takes the form of an animal. It’s unique to each individual and reflects their innermost qualities and emotions.

The Patronus is summoned to ward off Dementors, dark creatures that feed on happiness and can instill overwhelming fea



Up Next

The 10 Most Riveting And Best Music Documentaries Of All Time

Ten Most Riveting And Best Music Documentaries Of All Time

Lights dim, anticipation builds, and the stage is set for a symphony of storytelling that transcends time and echoes the very essence of human emotions. Music has the power to evoke the deepest depths of our souls. And what better way to unlock the enigmatic world of melodies, rhythms, and lyrics than through the lens of some of the best music documentaries?

Music documentaries are windows into the lives of the artists who have shaped our sonic landscapes, revealing the triumphs, tribulations, and untold stories behind the hits that have become the soundtrack to our lives.

From the birth of entire genres to the rise and fall of iconic bands, these best music documentaries of all time celebrate the relentless pursuit of artistic expression. They delve into the lives



Up Next

Are You Quick Enough To Find The Hidden Elephant In 5 Seconds? Prove Your Visual Power Now

Find The Hidden Elephant: Five-Sec Fun Illusion Challenge

There is always more beneath the surface! Are you ready to put your perception to the ultimate test and find the hidden elephant in this captivating elephant optical illusion picture?

Prepare to be captivated as we delve into the world of elephant optical illusions, where appearances can be deceiving, and hidden wonders await those with a keen eye.

This “Find the elephant optical illusion” is meant for those who dare to challenge their visual acumen and explore the mysteries hidden within a seemingly ordinary image.

Read more here:



Up Next

What Is The Scientifically Best Music For Studying? 6 Musical Genres Proven To Boost Study Sessions

Scientifically Best Music For Studying? Six Musical Genres

Picture this: you’re sitting down to tackle a daunting study session, armed with textbooks, notes, and a steaming cup of coffee. But wait, what’s missing? Ah, yes! The perfect playlist to accompany you on this academic journey. Well, let me make this more interesting. Do you know the scientifically best music for studying?

Believe it or not, the right music can do wonders for your focus, motivation, and overall productivity. In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of music and its impact on studying.

Prepare to discover the scientifically best music for studying, as well as some surprising ins



Up Next

10 Best Comedy Movies On Netflix That Will Have You In Fits Of Laughter

Ten Best Comedy Movies On Netflix That Will Make You Holler

Ah, Netflix, the magical realm where “just one more episode” becomes an all-night binge-fest! If you’re like me, trying to pick the best comedy movies on Netflix is like being a kid in a candy store with only a nickel – too many choices, too little time.

From laugh-out-loud slapsticks to witty satires, Netflix’s comedy arsenal is as vast as your uncle’s never-ending ‘dad jokes’. So, to save you from endlessly scrolling and falling into the “Netflix Abyss”, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 funniest movies on Netflix.

Buckle up, folks! We’re about to embark on a laughter rollercoaster that even your stoic pe



Up Next

20 TV Shows And Movies About Gaslighting, Manipulation, And Narcissism

20 Shows And Movies About Gaslighting, And Narcissism

Narcissism and gaslighting are two manipulative tactics that can have a profound impact on people’s lives. Interestingly, many movies and TV shows have explored these themes in order to shed light on the devastating effects they can have. This article is going to explore in detail some of the best TV shows and movies about gaslighting, manipulation and narcissism.

From classic films to modern TV series, these works of art offer a glimpse into the minds of those who use these tactics and the impact they have on their victims.

However, before we take deep dive into some of the best films about narcissists a



Up Next

New On Netflix September 2023: Top 10 Movie Additions For Fall

New On Netflix This September 2023: 10 Fall Movie Additions

Bringing a fresh lineup of exciting content to your screens. From gripping dramas to hilarious comedies, take a look at the movies new on Netflix September 2023! There’s something for everyone to look forward to.

As the leaves begin to change and the air turns crisp, September heralds not only the start of autumn but also a cinematic treat for Netflix subscribers.

From classic tales of underdogs and iconic high school comedies to mind-bending sci-fi adventures and riveting tales of ambition and excess, below are some of the recently added movies on Netflix promised to keep you entertained.