Breaking: Getting Drunk and Losing Sleep are Good for Creativity

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    Mar 22, 2012 3:12 PM GMT
    Now you have an excuse.

    "Apparently, the reason sleepiness and intoxication are so good for creativity is because they lead to a decreased ability to concentrate. That lack of concentration in turn leads to greater free association, so the brain is more likely to come up with novel solutions and connections."


    http://hyperallergic.com/47094/breaking-getting-drunk-and-losing-sleep-are-good-for-creativity/
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    Mar 22, 2012 3:22 PM GMT
    People needed an excuse?
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    Mar 22, 2012 3:23 PM GMT
    I've seen stuff about this lately, and I know that I often have creative ideas either when falling asleep or half-awake in the morning. If I don't write them down, they're gone.

    That said, do you think this explains the high percentage of creative people who are also substance-abusers and/or troubled souls?
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    Mar 22, 2012 3:25 PM GMT
    I think there are studies all over the place asserting contradictory things. I usually come up with ideas at the gym, resting between sets. And I don't make it to the gym if I haven't gotten enough sleep or have been boozing.
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    Mar 22, 2012 3:49 PM GMT
    This advise was given to me by multiple people in Art and Design programs. They would stay up and drink beer during studio to increase their creativity. I do believe that the moments before sleep and when you wake up (off and on) spark ingenious ideas.

    Like right now...
    icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gif
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    Mar 22, 2012 4:07 PM GMT
    RunnerBen saidI think there are studies all over the place asserting contradictory things. I usually come up with ideas at the gym, resting between sets. And I don't make it to the gym if I haven't gotten enough sleep or have been boozing.


    I think the common factor for creativity that studies are finding is a lack of concentration - which can be associated with stimuli (or lack thereof) that cause someone to relax. Alcohol usually makes people more relaxed, and losing sleep definitely impairs your concentration.

    I'm the same way, I come up with some crazy ideas between sets at the gym, usually between heavy lifts. That makes sense, since during my sets, I'm really concentrated and focused on pushing through the reps. But when resting between sets, I unwind and relax to prepare for my next set.

    I'm also more creative in the shower - a place you are told to go when you need to relax your mind or relax your muscles.

    Here's a little more detailed article that mentions booze as a catalyst for creativity...
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203370604577265632205015846.html

    And this is why relaxation helps: It isn't until we're soothed in the shower or distracted by the stand-up comic that we're able to turn the spotlight of attention inward, eavesdropping on all those random associations unfolding in the far reaches of the brain's right hemisphere. When we need an insight, those associations are often the source of the answer.