Utne Blogs > Science and Technology

Dreaming Up Creative Solutions

by Elizabeth Ryan 


Tags: Science and Technology, dreaming, problem solving, sleep, Psychology Today, Elizabeth Ryan,

ptcoverThere’s a good reason that people say you should “sleep on it” when facing a tough problem—it helps! A new study suggests dreaming is beneficial for problem solving. Psychology Today reports, “In REM sleep, cortical activation spreads from whatever one’s been pondering to marshal associated ideas, thanks to changes in levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and acetylcholine.” Jasper Johns, Jack Nicklaus and many others have credited their dreams for successful ideas. A co-author of the study adds: “So many times, we already have the solution somewhere in our brain. It just needs an extra 'boost' before it can be accessed.”

Source: Psychology Today