A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports has just suggested a link between creativity and napping.
MIT and Harvard Medical School researchers suggested that when subjects were asked to dram about a certain topic during sleep, they performed better when given activities related to the subject.
“When you are prompted to dream about a topic during sleep onset, you can have dream experiences that you can later use for these creative tasks” explained author Kathleen Esfahany.
The team used a hand-worn device which measures skin based electrical activity to assess muscle tone shifts, heart rate and arousal status during sleep onset.
Split into four groups, 49 adults with an average age of 27 were found to be more creative when napping. However, creativity was highest in the group where participants napped while incubating dreams related to the subject.
The participants had been instructed to write a story using the word ‘tree’, with the participants in the sleep with audio guidance group found to have stories 43% more creative than those who napped without guidance and 78% more creative than those who stayed awake with no guidance.