Dreaming is often a valuable tool for artists, designers and scientists. Whether asleep or awake, it is an area where we can explore our creativity. The most brilliant and inventive people are often wonderful dreamers, as you'll see in my next posts. Sign up for the newsletter to be informed if this topic is of some interest to you.
In our busy lives, it is hard to give due attention to sleep and take the time to interpret our dreams. Yet to forget our dreams is like ignoring money in our account at a time of emergency. Promoting quality of sleep is crucial to improving the creative mindset. The best way to do so is to set small weekly habits that will gradually direct our routine in the right direction, so that we may be in our most creative shape. Studies show that sleep is critical for our moods, minds, and overall health.
We can start by two small steps that can make a big difference in our lives.
1. SLEEP WELL AND DON'T BE JET LAGGED EVERY WEEKEND!
Sleep between 7.5 and 8.5 hours (needs are slightly different from a person to another) every night. Dr. Michael Breus, the sleep specialist and author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health, recommends setting a nighttime alarm to ensure that we go to bed on time for 7.5 hours (the average sleep cycle is 90 minutes long, and the average human sleep cycle is five per night).
“Work backward from your wake-up time,” Breus tells us. “That’s socially determined by when you have to get up to get to work, get the kids ready, all those external factors.” So if you have to get up by 7:00 a.m., count back 7.5 hours and recognize that your bedtime should be 11:30 p.m.
“Follow that bedtime for 10 days in a row,” says Breus, “and you’ll begin, quite naturally, to wake up a few minutes before your alarm clock sounds.”
Consistency is key — that’s how the human circadian system functions best. “Sleeping in on the weekends causes your system to shift and makes you want to go to bed later and wake up later,” he says. By doing so, it's like being jet lagged every weekend.
2. FALL ASLEEP BEFORE MIDNIGHT IF POSSIBLE.
The molecular biologist and author of the bestselling book, The 12 Brain Rules, John Medina, recommends that we sleep late on the weekends if we are forced to loose time during the week, but to make sure that this doesn't become a bad habit. Enough sleep every night and regular schedules are essential for a healthy brain. Sleep debts are dangerous for our memory and development of our cognitive capacities. As both doctors explain it, consistency is a key factor for good quality of sleep. This should motivate us to change our habits.
This scientific knowledge should also make us revise the way schools and businesses operate. Naps in the afternoon, for example, can be used to leverage productivity and creativity.
Building on good sleep is the preliminary foundation for a healthy brain and a creative mind, and using small steps method is the best way to transform our resolutions into healthy habits. Sleep well.