If you’ve ever found yourself about to drift off to sleep, but wake with a “eureka” moment, you’re not alone. A new survey says our best ideas come to us in bed.
The survey of 2,000 British residents, commissioned by the Microsoft Surface computer, reveals over 40% of them have had creativity strike while they’re in bed.
The notion of “sleeping on a problem” does have its roots in brain science: alpha waves tend to flow when we’re not stressed, and these have been associated with daydreaming and helping your noodle make connections it otherwise wouldn’t.
So it’s no coincidence ideas commonly come just as we’re trying to drift off, when we first wake, and even in the middle of the night.
The survey noted that going for a walk was the second-most common activity to spark creativity. Listening to music came in third.
However, in the shower and behind the wheel of a car were also popular places to spark that killer idea. As far as the latter, it can be dangerous: so many alpha waves can be detected in drivers that they not only mimic that just-before bed creativity, but the drivers can become so relaxed they doze off behind the wheel.