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Using Sleep as a Tool for Creativity

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Story at-a-glance -

  • Overwhelming evidence shows adequate sleep is essential for optimal productiveness and creativity
  • Dreaming, which occurs during the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep cycle, promotes creativity and creative problem-solving. At this time, new information is integrated into older data and novel connections between the old and the new are built, allowing new solutions to emerge
  • Dreaming is also important for psychological well-being and can be likened to overnight therapy, as it eases the emotional sting of painful experiences
  • When you upset your circadian rhythm, the results cascade through your system, raising blood pressure, dysregulating hunger hormones and blood sugar, increasing the expression of genes associated with inflammation, immune excitability, diabetes, cancer risk and stress, and much more
  • Your glymphatic system also only activates during deep sleep, thereby allowing your brain to clear out toxins, including harmful proteins linked to brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s

By Dr. Mercola

While many still approach sleeping as a waste of valuable time and hence something to be done as little as possible, overwhelming evidence shows sleeping more can actually boost both productiveness and creativity. In the video below, professor Matthew Walker, Ph.D., founder and director of the University of California Berkeley's Center for Human Sleep Science and author of the book "Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams," explains what happens in your brain while you dream — and why this is so important.


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