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Inspired by Thomas Edison, and Salvador Dalí who both allegedly claim that one will wake up at the most opportune moment for creativity if they nap while holding something, a team of French researchers showed over 100 participants math problems.Those who couldn't solve the problem were asked to take a 20-minute break in a dark room with their eyes closed, holding a water bottle that's supposed to fall to the floor as soon as they doze off consequently waking them up. All the while, the participant's brain activity was recorded.
The researchers found that after people spent at least 15 sec in sleep onset, their chances of figuring out the hidden trick to solving the math problem tripled.
Sleep onset / stage 1 sleep is a stage when you're drifting into slumber, when we're not quite asleep but also not quite awake.
This was not seen in subjects who didn't wake up and continued on to deeper sleep stages.
This led the researchers to suspect that the brain activity during stage 1 sleep likely ignites creative sparks"; that achieving it requires a balance in falling asleep easily against falling asleep too deeply," - authors
Jack of all people-related trades, master of none. Majored in Psychology, Customer Service Assoc for a few Years, HR Officer for 4, Manager and ESL Teacher for over 11 yrs now, an artist since birth.
Knowing how sleep primes us for creativity in particular, might be able to use this trick to solve difficult problems and situations.
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