Why the Middle of the Night?

Or as I doze in the middle of the day (grabbing a Nanna nap- read: ‘power nap’!!), or just

as I am waking from sleep?

Inspiration strikes!

There is a progressive decrease in the activation or “firing” rate of most neurons throughout the brain as sleep progresses from wakefulness to non-REM sleep. (http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/science/what/characteristics)

There are many articles on the internet to explain why our brains work this way but the gist of it is: when the brain is in a state of ‘other-consciousness’, it allows creativity to flow at its own pace, without distractions of life around us; while our bodies rest, our minds fly.

During sleep physiological demands are reduced and temperature and blood pressure drop. In general, many of our physiological functions such as brain wave activity, breathing, and heart rate are quite variable when we are awake or during REM sleep, but are extremely regular when we are in non-REM sleep.

I have also found this to be true, from my own personal research, it happens most during this ‘non-sleep’ stage. i.e. as I’m drifting off to sleep or in the very middle of the night as I’m stirring or as I’m waking up from sleep.

(Although I do dream, I find these not to be part of the creative process- what about yours? Do you use your dreams in stories and poems?)

I find these ’sleep-flashes’ of creativity to be from a deeper place and are more profound: sometimes they are really weird, ‘off the wall’ even and sometimes quiet scary. As I read them later I wonder ‘who wrote these?’

When inspiration strikes during the day, I find it to be totally different. For example, the creativity is more about becoming aware of things ‘happening in runs’ (these are somehow connected e.g.; by the same word or theme, they seem to occur around the same time; synchronicity); or light bulb moments when a better understanding of something appears.

All are very rewarding and fulfilling.

Of course inspiration can strike at any time- when do you find inspiration strikes?

Please leave a comment; I’d love to hear about it!

Thank you for reading!


About juliehyndman

Writing, poetry, art and life in general
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