Friday, May 1, 2009

Creativity in Bed

Some work best in the shower. Some get revved up at the office. Me, I always come up with best ideas in bed.

Something about being at the precipice between the waking world and the dream world gets my mind racing. As soon as I lay down my head, it props back up. I’m suddenly full of energy, the events of the day take on cosmic force, and the mental acrobatics begin.

ve been this way since I was a child. I was never much for sleeping. I'll admit, the late night ponderings were menacing at first; only thoughts of monsters, witches and grand escape plans. I was a sleepwalker then. When I was about 12, I would attempt math problems at night. I always loathed math and all the numbers and figures I didn’t get through in the day would appear in my mind, begging for a resolution. Every night was a mixture of apprehension and anticipation. As I grew older, I began to cultivate the after hour thoughts and steer them from the former to the latter.

At first, I kept a journal bedside. And now, I keep my laptop sitting on the floor right next to my bed. Instead of fruitless efforts at retiring early, I just write, draw, doodle and attempt to clear my heard of everything going through it. Unabated, I will often do this till the wee small hours of the morning. Sleep is for when you’re dead anyway, I say.

I initially assumed that this restlessness was just a personal quirk. But perhaps, creativity can be accelerated in the night hours. Think about it. All day your mind collects information, only when you lay your head down, do the patterns emerge and the sparks fly, no?

During the day, I try to absorb as much information as possible. Most days I go through a magazine, part of a book, as wells as a slew of never-ending blogs and don't get me started on the T.V., so my mind is a hot mess of information waiting to be absorbed in the dream world. The
subsequent dreamworld is fraught with pop cultural calamities, making my last hours before bed seem far less manic in comparison. The hours between 11 and 3 are like the first sweet droplets of a coming storm.

I find myself in the perfect place to think and create. I’m tired enough and uninhibited enough to not question the silly thoughts and ideas, but concentrated enough to passionately pursue any one task. I know technically one is most productive in the morning hours. According to the studies, the prime time hours for creativity are supposed to be between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Supposedly, at this point your brain has moderate levels of stress hormones and
adequate amounts of sleep. So either my hormones are out of whack, or my mind works best in manic state.

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