Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 7: Let Me Sleep

In the U.S., this is the beginning of daylight savings time. As a writer and any creative individual understands, the springing ahead does nothing but drop productivity overall and require extra measures to adjust our sleep cycles.

But sleep itself is important to the writing process. Leslie Berlin said it brilliantly in a New York Times article on a sleep study from 2008 at

"Most people, Dr. Ellenbogen says, think of the sleeping brain as similar to a computer that has “gone to sleep” — it does nothing productive. Wrong. Sleep enhances performance, learning and memory. Most unappreciated of all, sleep improves creative ability to generate aha! moments and to uncover novel connections among seemingly unrelated ideas."

Berlin interviewed other experts who theorized that sleep may improve creativity through a breakdown in the standard thinking we employ. That means that our resting brain fills in the missing parts we may not recognize when we are awake.

Once again, be kind to yourself if you are in a U.S. state that pushes an outdated attempt to control time and energy through DST. And, if you can't sleep, try writing longhand or speaking your ideas into a recorder to prime your brain for when sleep comes again.

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