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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Why am I most creative when I'm sleep deprived?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (25301points) October 7th, 2010

I notice that when I am not sleeping well I am creating my best art. Or at the very least I am the most inspired to create.

Is there some kind of link between grogginess and creativity?
Artsy jellies – when are you most creative?

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22 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

I have the same thing, when im awake at 4am and stoned im way more creative, personally, i put it down to being dumber at that moment, and not having the cerebral capacity to think too much and distract my self.

Cruiser's avatar

I know what you mean! For me sleep deprivation means something is bothering you and messing up your head and practicing your art, (for me guitar) allows you to take a break from the noise in your head and let those bottled emotions pour out into your art. I write some of my best music way late at night.

Judi's avatar

I wonder if it comes from the same place in the brain that makes a lot of bi polar people creative geniuses when they are in their manic (and not sleeping) phase?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Judi I don’t know much of anything about manic depression, so I didn’t know that such a thing happened. But that really does make me wonder if it is somehow related. It leads me to think that there really is something different going on in the brain that amps up creativity.

Judi's avatar

I was worried that you might think I was accusing you of being manic, and I wasn’t at all. I was just wondering if it could be from the same place in the brain. The “sleep deprived” place.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Oh. It didn’t even occur to me. I suppose I’ve spent enough of my life in therapy to be pretty certain that is at least one thing I don’t have to worry about. ;) I think that’s a good question, I am genuinely curious about that as well now that you’ve mentioned it!

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

I feel the same way. I come up with all my creative writing when I don’t go to sleep

Frenchfry's avatar

I am not that creative when I am tired. There must be something wrong with me. I am when I am drunk though:)

SundayKittens's avatar

Emotions are at the surface, and they’re confused. Sleep seems to settle them all back inside and evenly distribute them.

thekoukoureport's avatar

Sleep is the other dimension we live in. One of dreams, nightmares and fantasies. The closer you conscience gets to your un-conscience(for lack of a better word) the more your brain frees itself from the bonds of “reality”.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If I get really tired the filters I normally use start to shut down and my mind goes in all kinds of unrestrained directions. It isn’t always in the normal directions so I come up with some unusual thoughts and concepts.

Deja_vu's avatar

I do some of my best work when I’m tired. Maybe it’s because I don’t do any drugs.

kissmesoftly's avatar

I’m most creative when I’m happy and with friends, when I have that feeling like my heart has been replaced with the wind that rushed through the colorful leaves of fall and the sun shines through the gaps and rests on my face. :)

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
iamthemob's avatar

I think it’s less being “more creative,” and more accurately you are “less restrained.” I often find that I edit ideas before their expressed at times, even in writing. Freewriting exercises are meant to overcome this, and I think that a lack of sleep, etc., function in the same way. Too often we pre-edit before we know that we’ve actually got a good thing, and when we are without sleep, that part of the brain gets shut off.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@iamthemob that makes sense.

Carly's avatar

I tend to believe that when i’m tired, I don’t really want to think about all the garbage that usually flows through my mind. I tend to think about only the good things, everything wonderfully creative that pops into my head.

I think ppl are much less restrained when tired because they just don’t care about those restraints anymore. So you’re much more apt to do something that is against the rules, outside the box, etc and think of truly new ideas.

Nullo's avatar

I’ve noticed similar with my games. Many of my high scores are from when I was sleepy. I’m going to say that the impairment causes you to limit your focus.

Also, sleep deprivation is akin in its effects to inebriation.

zophu's avatar

People use parts of the brain differently when they’re sleepy than when they’re not. A change in mental state brings new perspectives. Beyond that, being up at odd times gives people a sense of freedom that isn’t had during the day, when they’re supposed to be dragging stones to the pyramid.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

When I’m up at night, I can’t do anything because I feel extremely agitated, like I need to get to bed and sleep right NOW or else something extremely bad will happen. But I have gotten some really good ideas when I’m relaxed and in bed, trying to fall asleep.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Case in point…

Full night’s sleep.
Two days with no sleep. (heads up, this one is gory.)

CFi's avatar

Maybe due to your fatigue your brain’s “inhibition” so to speak isn’t as alert to tell you something can’t or shouldn’t be done. You are possibly to tired to think your self out of doing something you wouldn’t normally do a certain way because of some over thought reasoning. I think your brain is drunk on exhaustion it’s like Will Ferrell in Old Guys trying to run naked in the quad and thinking it’s OK.

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