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Are You Stuck on a Creative Problem? Get Some Sleep!

Written by: Bill Sherman on Wednesday, 10 June 2009, 8:27 AM

Recent research shows that sleep really does help you solve complex, creative problems.

If true, then it gives a strong argument for multitasking.

  1. Define project #1 and give yourself a framework.
  2. Shift to other projects for the rest of the day.
  3. Sleep on problem #1 with good REM sleep
  4. Return to problem #1.
The amount of sleep doesn’t matter. It could be a cat-nap or a full-night’s sleep. What matters is whether you enter REM sleep. People who entered REM sleep imporved their creative problem solving by 40% over those who just relaxed or those who didn’t enter REM sleep.
So, if you’re stuck on a creative problem, get some good rest. Then, return to the problem, and you’ll be more likely to be unstuck.

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