Could sleep help with creative tasks?
Photo by Denise Chan on Unsplash

Creativity manifests in multiple aspects of our daily lives. It may involve generating ways to manage a heavy workload or drafting a plan for a personal project. Even something as simple as figuring out an efficient way to load groceries into your vehicle involves creative thinking. In any case, creativity requires thinking about situations differently, and to think clearly and develop new and interesting ideas, sleep seems to help.

Loading groceries “creatively.” Image from author.

In the article below, we go over research showing sleep issues that may hamper creative thought. When we do not sleep well, our ability to generate new ideas may be impaired. For more details, check out the article below.

Sleep issues may also interfere with our ability to solve problems and discover insight. There is some research showing that sleep periods may facilitate efficient problem solving skills, such as catching on to a hidden shortcut. But, there is other research suggesting that sleep may not always lead to higher creativity. We discuss some of this research on sleep and creative problem solving here.

Overall, healthy sleep and rest seem to play important roles in the creative process. I certainly feel and think better when I have slept well as compared to when I have not. If you’re feeling like your creative process is at a standstill, maybe it’s time to take a deliberate break and prioritize healthy sleep.

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