Practice strategies of super elite performers: Sleep your way to creativity
I’ve learned that taking a break from the computer and “sleeping on” my writing often reveals breakthroughs — a solution to a problem or a story idea. And often this inspiration happens right after I lie down when my brain is buzzing from a writing session.
But I recently found that sleep is more important to the creative process than I realized.
Christine Carter, Ph.D, a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, writes on her blog about elite performers and how they become successful. “People who go to the top of their fields don’t just practice deliberately and persistently, they also rest strategically,” she says.
It’s well known that most people need seven to eight hours of sleep a night. But Americans average only 6.5 hours of sleep per night, Carter says. She’s written about characteristics of elite performers and says super high achievers clock in more sleep time than average. Elite performers tend to get 8.6 hours of sleep a night and high performing athletes even more.
I’ve found sleep and rest breaks are a good way to step back and let my brain process what I’ve been working on. Do you get enough sleep? Consider how you can use the power of rest to enhance your creativity and writing performance.
For more insight about rest and how it affects creative performance and practice, read Carter’s post, The Quiet Secret to Success.