Sleep | Creativity & Productivity

Sleep | Creativity & Productivity


A good nights sleep cannot only leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised but it can greatly impact your creativity levels and your problem solving ability. This is of course an essential element to all of those working within a creative industry or startup whose creativity and exponential thinking is their most valued asset.

Regular Sleep Pattern Encourages  Creativity

Author Stephen King wrote in his book: A Memoir of the Craft, ‘…as your mind and body grow accustomed to a certain amount of sleep each night – six hours, seven, maybe the recommended eight – you can train your waking mind to sleep creatively, and work out vividly imagined waking dreams, which are successful works of fiction.’ King believes you can access the creative imaginings of your mind when awake as a result of regular sleep patterns. Bringing greater and more creative thoughts into your day-to-day life.

REM Sleep Connects Unrelated Thought Patterns

Denise Cai, from the University of California in San Diego wrote on the matter of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep saying that this deep and dream rich state ‘catalyses the creative process by allowing the brain to form connections between unrelated ideas.’ REM sleep is proven to aid problem solving due to this puzzle connecting process of linking unrelated ideas together to form a stronger bond.

Sleep and Flexible Thinking

Lack of sleep seriously impairs cognitive function and is a stress trigger (, neither of which encourage creativity or productivity. In the paper ‘One night of sleep loss impairs innovative thinking and flexible decision making,’ by Harrison Y (PubMed) studies show that after 32-36h of sleep loss, ten healthy and highly motivated participants experienced more ‘rigid thinking, increased perseverative errors, and marked difficulty in appreciating an updated situation,’ this is compared to the same situation they were previously faced with, with adequate sleep concluding in opposite results of; flexible and dynamic thinking and accuracy.

If you have been experiencing creative block or even lack of fulfilment at work it could be due to lack of sleep. Don’t over exert yourself or never switch off to remain constantly connected to work – it will benefit you and your colleagues to turn up to work with a new lease of life, full of creative juices and ideas.    

In the world of technology, startups and innovators, being on the ball, saving time through accuracy and being an adaptable employee/employer/client/partner/colleague is essential to staying on top.

Get your sleep to ensure you’re at the top of your game, everyday!