When Sleepiness Is Your Friend

April 4, 2012

As we write this post, we are very, very sleepy. Apparently, the state of being a little tired, when you might normally avoid doing creative work, makes your brain work a bit differently – and more creatively. Cognitive research says you may make new connections and arrive at more imaginative insights when you’re sluggish.

sleep habits

So rather than attacking the state of mild sleepiness with multiple slams of the snooze button followed by a caffeine I.V., try embracing the grogginess by changing your morning routine. It seems that nothing kills a change-the-world mindframe like a stressed-out, rushed (and typically American) morning routine of rushing, rush hour commuting, long lines (the type you can avoid with CLEAR!), and depressing daily news.

Another sleep-related habit that tends to send most of us reeling into I’m-going-to-be-too-tired-to-work tomorrow panic mode is finding yourself awake in the middle of the night. But according to some sleep specialists, this too is not inherently a bad thing.

Back before urban humans brought nighttime “daylight” to every city street and activities at night “became fashionable,” people went to bed when it was dark, woke up a few hours in the middle of the night, and then went back to sleep until dawn.

If you wake up in those early morning hours unable to fall right back to sleep, even lying awake mulling your thoughts (when’s the last time you let yourself do nothing but think?) could be good for your mental state. Maybe it’s even a good time to get some creative work done.