Un homme endormi

A phase of sleep that allows our brain to solve complex problems

If you’re looking for new ideas for work or a personal project but can’t seem to find light at the end of the tunnel, this new discovery might give you a boost. Researchers have found that the human brain goes through a phase of high creativity just before falling into deep sleep. This phenomenon occurs during the phase of sleep called N1, that is to say the first phase of slow sleep.

According to the study published in the journal Science Advances, during this phase, the mind is in a liminal state between sleep and wakefulness. This state is called the hypnagogic state, and it could be the key to the emergence of good ideas.

According to Delphine Oudiette, neuroscientist at the Paris Brain Institute and co-author of the study, she has had many hypnagogic experiences that have always fascinated her. She said she was surprised to find that almost no scientist has studied this phase of sleep in the past two decades.

A technique used by Thomas Edison

According to the information, the researchers who conducted the study based their experimentation on a known technique, used by inventor Thomas Edison. When he was taking a nap, Edison held a ball in each hand. As soon as he began to fall asleep, the bullets fell to the ground and woke him up. It is said that with this method he was able to remember new and bright ideas he had while he fell asleep.

For their part, scientists from the Paris Brain Institute proposed a series of mathematical problems to a group of participants. They were then given a 20-minute break during which they could relax in a reclined position while holding an object in their hand. As the object fell due to doze off, the researchers asked participants to share what they had in mind before the moment they woke up. Subjects then had to continue solving math problems.

The obtained results

The results of the experiment showed that those who reached phase N1 were 3 times more likely to solve math problems than those who stayed awake. Also, those subjects who reached L1 phase were 6 times more likely to resolve problems than those who reached L2 phase of deeper sleep.

According to Oudiette, legends say that Albert Einstein and Alexander the Great used Edison’s sleeping technique. Some of the dreams that inspired the great discoveries could also have been hypnagogic dreams, not nighttime dreams.

This way, you won’t lose anything by trying this technique if you feel like you’re running out of ideas or inspiration. Maybe that will be the way to find the “idea” that will change our life, who knows?

SOURCE: Futurism

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