"Sleep, those little slices of death, how I loathe them"
Updated: Mar 23, 2021
I’m not sure I hate those little slices of death right now, in fact, along with everyone else in the world, I crave them. Because of our prolonged confinement, we’re not sleeping, and it’s now affecting both adults and children, The New York Times refers to this as a new “kind of trauma.” Add to that, the levels of high anxiety, trauma and stress experienced due to lack of sleep is affecting our levels of creativity. If you run a business, this can be fatal.
To be creative you don’t have to be a poet or a writer, you can be creative in tech or e-commerce. In Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (and no I still can’t pronounce his surname), says that: “...the definition of a creative person is: someone whose thoughts or actions change a domain, or establish a new domain.” (p.28)
Do you need to be an artist or a poet to do that?
No. We are all creative up to a point, even if we’re not making art or writing a piece of poetry. If you’ve created a business, if you invented something, if you’ve worked hard to produce a piece of software or come up with a course or provided a solution to a problem, and perhaps you’ve now written this up in a book or series of articles, then you’ve been creative. And those are just a few examples.
But what happens if due to the current situation with the global pandemic and lockdown rules you are unable to sleep, and as a result, your creativity is affected? I mean is there anything you can do about it?
“Lack of sleep has been linked to poor cognitive function including poor focus, concentration, low creativity, erratic behaviour, inability to multitask, and increased mistakes. These are executive functions needed to facilitate a creative or designer’s mind.”
Sleep is important because it helping to rid the brain of toxins, helping us to feel refreshed and awake the following day, this doesn’t happen if you’re spending half your night wide awake worrying about the looming apocalypse or when ARE your children are EVER going back to school?!?!
Is there a solution?
I wish there was, but I can offer some tips I’ve picked up along the way that may help. Create a sleep schedule and give yourself time to wind down, get some vitamin D, and get plenty of exercise, avoid alcohol and caffeine a few hours before bed, and keep your bedroom at the ideal temperature for you to sleep. Eat healthily, make sure you speak to as many people and have as many conversations as possible during the day (hard I know due to the current situation).
My solutions include downloading the Calm app and listening to meditation as well as creating a list of suitable mediation/mindful/hypnosis techniques from Youtube.
And quite important is the bedroom area.
I spoke to someone the other day who reads in bed. I told her that I don’t. I’m rigid in my habits and patterns and my bedroom is for sleep, meditation, sickness and sex - that’s it. It’s not for reading. I’d also suggest you adopt a similar habit, for me, reading is for the living area, the bedroom is where you go to sleep.
I prepare my bedroom every single night - a place where I pull up my drawbridge and treat as my sacred place where I retreat from the world. I don’t always stick to it and I’ll flick through one occasionally, but I don’t normally read there. Keep things nice and quiet so when you do go in and retire for the night, it feels like an oasis of calm.
That’s all I have for you for now, with the strictest lockdowns in place in the UK, we’re restricted in what we can do. It will get better I promise you. We have hope, even when it feels like we have little else.
I’ll leave you with this quote by Desmond Tutu - “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
Stay safe and if you need some creative inspiration in the form of some carefully crafted words that will help convert your products and services, then hit me up with a message. If you can’t, I can, so get on with business while I provide the words, whether it’s a high converting email sequence, a landing or sales page or some web copy let me know. I also create media bios and about pages, and don’t ever think you can’t get creative with those, it’s all in the storytelling.
In other news - this is what I’m reading right now, the list is long my friends:
This One Wild and Precious Life: Sarah Wilson - (about how we can manage in this sick world)
Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration David Wojnarowicz (currently watching It’s a Sin on Channel 4 by the wonderful Russell T Davies, and this is a memoir of New York in the 80s during the AIDS epidemic by the artist David Wojnaorwicz)
Recollections of My Non-Existence: Rebecca Solnit (Solnit’s experiences as a young woman, harrowing is it is inspiring and important)
Explaining Humans: Dr Camilla Pang (how to explain humans to autistic people done brilliantly by someone who actually is autistic)
The Pattern Seekers, A New Theory of Human Invention: Simon Baron-Cohen (the male model of autism from Cohen to argue how autistic people are the best inventors and pattern makers)
Vladislav Muslakov | Unsplash