Finding Focus Day 4: The Importance of Sleep

7 thoughts on “Finding Focus Day 4: The Importance of Sleep”

  1. Almost none of these rules work for me. I am nocturnal. Period. I sleep better when it’s light out. I sleep odd hours and take catnaps.

    For me as a writer, the interesting part of sleep is dreams. I have been in several dream groups, one when I was in high school, and another more recently. I have a dream journal going back to when I was 16. I think my experience doing dream interpretation has added dimensions to my writing.

    What’s best is to let other people interpret your dreams. It opens up all kinds of unexpected avenues of meaning. But, in order to do that, a set of ground rules is essential. The last group I was in used these: http://www.jeremytaylor.com/dream_work/dream_work_toolkit/index.html

    (Jeremy Taylor is amazing. He has written several excellent books on the topic, and watching him interpret dreams on the fly is an electrifying experience)

    Oddly enough, one of my favorite filmmakers who explores the edges between dreams and reality, Terry Gilliam, does not himself do dream work.

    1. That’s so cool! I will definitely check them out. Dreams can be so inspiring. That is so awesome that you keep a dream journal– what an amazing record.

      Haha, some people are definitely night owls. A lot of great writers are, too, like Michael Chabon for instance. But it’s great to figure out what works for you.

      Here’s an article you might enjoy:
      http://www.policymic.com/articles/40339/the-bizarre-sleep-habits-of-8-highly-successful-people
      Just goes to show how everyone’s different!

      1. Fun article on people’s sleep habits. There was a piece this past year in one of the local newspapers arguing that the natural sleep cycle is bi-phasic, meaning that it’s better to sleep twice a day than only once. I’m inclined to agree.

        Another trippy sleep habit is that of dolphins and other marine mammals. They sleep with half of their brain at a time, while the other half stays awake to surface for oxygen and so on.

        This principle can be applied at work, where one half of the brain can remain conscious in order to ward off predatory managers with buzzwords, while the other half gets something useful done by dozing off.

      2. Wow! That’s fascinating. Haha.

        I remember reading a psychology study once that said humans have a similar thing– part of their brain remains alert during sleep. One of the examples they gave was that mothers who slept in the same bed as their babies never rolled over and squashed their babies, suggesting that they still were spatially aware, even though they were asleep; another example was that most people don’t roll off their beds at night– they remember where the mattress ends. Interesting to think about.

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