How does sleep facilitate creativity?
Sleeping is a phenomenon of astounding complexity where the brain switches periodically between the non-REM sleep and the REM sleep. Humans sleep for about one third of their lives and but it is always impossible for them to remember most of their dreams after waking up. The moment one is fully asleep, the human conscious mind degenerates and breaks down into a state of unconsciousness and this is the moment when all mental barriers are subdued and creativity ushered in. Human creativity is as a result of conscious accessibility to forces in the unconscious state. Dreams are the ultimate moments of human creativity although it’s always challenging to transcend unconsciousness into consciousness.
The unconscious mind is bedrock of all human experience and the storehouse of all creativity but due to our tendencies of operating in our conscious mind, everything in it often gets suppressed and when tapped into during sleep it sublimes into oblivion.
Sleeping and creativity can be viewed as having an understanding about a problem but being unable to restructure your memory to provide a right answer. A model was designed to help break down the creativity that is experienced during sleeping. The non-REM sleep helps us organize information into useful categories, whereas REM helps us see beyond those categories to discover unexpected connections. The mental memories captured by the hippocampus are replayed during non-REM sleep, that information gets stored in the cortex. During REM sleep, on the other hand, the hippocampus and cortex don’t appear to be nearly as in sync. Here the cortex is now free to replay stored memories in any combination, regardless of whether they are similar. The manner in which information in the REM and non REM phases is tapped and retrieved during sleep determines ones creativity during sleep.
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