The final day of the challenge... Wow, I'm tired...
** Z is for Zzzz's **
Sleep is good for everyone (duh). The benefits to getting enough sleep include:
- - Increased happiness
- - Improved immune system
- - Reduced irritability
- - A better memory
But how can catching enough Z’s improve your writing?
Don’t Be A Dream Killer
Keep a diary of dreams you have. This can be a source of inspiration on dry, blocked moments or weeks, God forbid. You might think your night time imaginings are a little too off the wall, or perhaps the other extreme; mundane thoughts just re-organising themselves ready for the next day. However, you might be missing a trick here so keep a notepad and pen by your bed to jot down the memories you have first thing from the night before. Read this fantastic blog if you're worried about how you can learn to remember your dreams.
Are You Getting Enough?
A good night’s sleep can mean different things to different people. It varies between individuals. A teenager might try for 12 hours a night; new parents might think five hours is a luxury. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously ran the country on four hours sleep. This is clearly not sustainable for ‘normal’ people.
It is not a challenge to see how little you can get away with, and life is not an endurance challenge. Work out how much you’d need to sleep every night to feel refreshed and ready to work the next day, and try to stick to it. I know I work best with about 7-8 hours. Gone are the days when I sleep 10+ hours a night. You can have too much of a good thing. If you get the right amount of sleep you will feel more alert in the morning and your writing will see the benefits.
Are You A Writer/Drinker?
Some writers work better after a glass of wine. I am the opposite. I get drunk or sleep and can’t think straight very quickly. If it works for you, fine, but studies have shown that you will sleep all the worse for that half a bottle you enjoyed in the evening.
The same goes for caffeine. This doesn’t affect me as much as alcohol (I quite enjoy an evening cuppa, really!), but it’s worth bearing in mind.
Banish That Laptop
I know this works for some people, but for me, having technology in the bedroom is a no-no. I don’t work in bed, I don’t want TV in bed, and I don’t sit playing with my phone before I turn out the light. Honestly, most nights I barely remember going to bed, I am so ready for it, but I have noticed in the past how much longer it takes for my brain to switch off if I have been writing in bed. You will relax quicker, fall asleep faster, and enjoy your bed for things more appropriate than work!
Finally – I’ve not heard of this before, but I suppose it’s entirely possible…
If you can train yourself somehow to write in your sleep, it would be an amazing time saver and could be productive beyond your wildest …dreams.
Physically writing in your sleep is also possibly better appreciated by your partner than your sleep walking or talking. It’s quiet, but don’t turn on that light! Take a look at what Lea, a Tumblr blogger, has produced while sleeping – it’s not all useable, but you might discover something in your subconscious which is a best seller.
What do you think? How does sleep work for you as a writer?
Find me on Facebook
…And on Twitter
Born To Be A Tourist
Image from Event Brite