Like many of you in the Greater Toronto Area, I spent much of my weekend lounging around and sleeping during this awful Ice Storm. I was grateful (and fortunate) for the opportunity to get some rest. I feel like I’ve been having more and more conversations with people about sleep and the lack of sleep that we’re having. And most of those people are creatives like me!
I love sleeping, the cozy feeling of my hand nestled under a cold pillow. The smell of my peppermint essential oils wafting through the room as I fade off. I’m very blessed to be a good sleeper. I don’t have problems falling asleep, I can sleep anywhere really. However I will put work before sleep every time. And now that I’m self employed it seems like there’s always more work to be done! It often means early mornings and late nights. So yes I sleep well…but not long enough. I was having a conversation about sleep with a driver on set of a movie I’ve been filming.
He told me about this nature of things episode on why we sleep. The series has several parts, but I’m talking about one specific part of the series. I’m trying to find a link to the video to show you and I can’t find it for the life of me! If you come across it please share.
Anyway it talked about the fact that when we sleep the jelly-like membrane that protects our brain turns into a liquid. That liquid then washes our brain and all the crevices in our heads of plaque and other random bi-products of our nervous system. That cleansing process lasts 8 hours. If we wake up before that time…the process is incomplete. Over time if we don’t get that 8 hours that plaque and crap build-up starts to negatively affect our processing systems and some studies show it can lead to things like Alzheimers!
So yes we all need more sleep on a consistent basis and (if you follow Arianna Huffington and her Thrive philpsphy you’ll know all about that.) But particularly so many creative entrepreneurs I meet don’t get enough sleep. A quick scroll through social media and you’ll see references to insomnia and weird sleep patterns . I don’t want to broad brush this because I realize there are other elements at play here. Everyone’s situation is unique. But what I’ve realized is that as a new creative entrepreneur I need not adopt this lifestyle because I feel it’s the norm and some kind of gateway to untouched creativity. I don’t have to get obsessed with the over shared ideas of hustle hard and sleep is overrated. For me, more sleep actually leads to more creativity!
I’ve been thinking about this a lot so I gathered some points on WHY CREATIVES NEED MORE SLEEP!
- Some studies have shown that writers often get their ideas from their unconscious mind rather than their conscious mind. ( https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-social-thinker/201712/sleep-it-boost-your-creativity)
- Science has also confirmed that REM sleep helps people generally be more creative. The hormone cortisol rises during REM, then helps form new and imaginative ideas. ( http://time.com/4737596/sleep-brain-creativity/)
- When we sleep we dream, and dreams can be beneficial in cementing experiences into our memory, and can often prove inspirational. I don’t know about you but inspiration is huge for me as a creative. (https://www.dreams.co.uk/sleep-matters-club/7-ways-that-sleep-help-your-creativity/)
- Creative problem solving appears to happen during the REM phase of sleep, which typically occurs in the second half of a night’s sleep if you’re getting the recommended hours. (https://www.utoronto.ca/news/secret-creativity-u-t-expert-says-sleep-more-offers-other-tips)
- Check out this graph I found on when geniuses like Maya Angelou slept. You’ll notice most get 7 or more hours. Not the 5 hours many creatives like me are getting.
- Also for creatives that have to be on camera like me…beauty sleep is an actual thing! Sleep-deprived people appear less healthy, more tired, and less attractive than those who have received a full night’s worth of sleep. (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/beauty-sleep-deprivation-science-beauty-rest/story?id=12402190)
Here are some great tips from Tuck.Com on sleep hacks for better creativity. Including: Reading something inspiring before bed and experimenting with nap times. I personally write down all the thoughts swirling through my mind about 20 mins before bed. Having cute sleep wear helps me too! What are your thoughts on sleep and creativity? Let me know in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
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