We all know that we should probably
be getting more sleep. And we've learned that sleep improves your
mood, helps you to learn, clears your brain of toxins, and helps
you concentrate. As if that weren't enough, sleep has another
benefit: It can help make you more 
creative.


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Image: Ennomotive


To understand how, it is helpful to
know a bit more about creativity. When you are trying to develop a
creative solution to a difficult problem, you need to find some
knowledge that you already have that will help you take a new
approach. That means that a big part of creativity is allowing the
problem to remind you of things you know about that probably come
from another area of your expertise and that are relevant to your
current problem. In short, you are seeking a good
analogy.


For example, imagine a company that
is trying to come up with a novel approach to ridding farm fields
of weeds. One way to look for a new approach is to think of other
industries that have tried to solve a similar problem. That is hard
to do, because you are most often reminded of things that seem more
directly relevant to the problem you're solving. If you are
thinking about weeds and plants, roots, and soil, then you will be
reminded of other things you know about agriculture.


Generating creative ideas requires
moving beyond the surface of the problem and finding an essence to
the problem that deemphasizes the specific details. For example,
you might characterize the central problem with killing weeds as a
problem of avoiding collateral damage. After all, it isn't hard to
kill a weed. The difficulty is in killing weeds without killing the
desirable plants around it.


"Generating creative ideas requires
moving beyond the surface of the problem and finding an essence to
the problem."


In order for this strategy to
succeed, you need to find the right description of the problem that
will remind you of other things you know that are like the problem
you want to solve. It turns out that sleep can help with
that.


Your brain is active when you sleep.
One of the things that happens during sleep is that memories
consolidate. That is, the things you were exposed to during the day
are solidified in memory. But not all aspects of the events you
experienced are retained. Often, many of the extraneous details of
a situation will be lost.


That means that after you sleep,
your memory of the problem you are solving will contain fewer
surface elements and more essential elements than it did when you
first started thinking about it. When you return to the problem
after sleeping, your description of the problem will retrieve
different information from memory than it did before you slept. In
particular, you are much more likely to be able to find an analogy
after you have slept on a problem than you were before.


Just another benefit of getting a
good night's sleep. 


For further sleep tips please visit Dr Nerina's
toolkit



Source: http://m.fastcompany.com/3045411/work-smart/how-getting-more-sleep-can-help-you-solve-your-creative-problems