Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Maybe you are creative, not sleepless

…Everyone is whining all the time about how sleep-deprived Americans are. Yet, many big names, such as WC Fields, Marlene Dietrich, Franz Kafka, Teddy Roosevelt, Groucho Marx and Mark Twain were insomniacs.

…HA is a spotty sleeper, up, down. She can count on one hand the nights she slept through. It felt like a coma, alarming, rather than refreshing.

…Writing in the Washington Post, Dennis Drabelle speculates that bad sleepers may be creatives. Or more creative than the coma-bound.

…Yet “common sense,” Drabelle posits, says that it’s easier to do hard math problems with a good night’s sleep, a theory borne out by research.

…Common sense also says that people who sleep less get more done. This is one is not so true. Short sleepers tend to be as productive as long sleepers. It’s genetic, say researchers.

…So what about trying something new, inventing something, creating something? Any difference there?

…A recent study suggests that insomnia and originality may go together.

…Researchers worked with 60 New Zealand children between the ages of 10 and 12. Half were above average on creativity tests, the other half not. Seventeen of the 30 “creative” children reported sleep disturbances. Only 8 of the controls had trouble sleeping.

…What does this prove, if anything. Maybe insomnia is keeping the creatives from being even more creative.

…Or else, they must daydream instead of night dream.

…Or their quirky, febrile little minds are keeping them up, even though there may be side benefits.

…What do you think?

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