How sleep makes your mind more creative

It is 6.06am and I’m typing this in my pyjamas. I awoke at 6.04am, walked from the bedroom to the study, switched on my computer and got to work immediately. This is unusual behaviour for me. However, it’s a tried and tested technique for enhancing creativity, long used by writers, poets and others, including the inventor Benjamin Franklin. And psychology research appears to back this up, providing an explanation for why we might be at our most creative when our minds are still emerging from the realm of sleep.

.. No wonder some people value the immediate, post-sleep, dreamlike mental state – known as sleep inertia or the hypnopompic state – so highly. It allows them to infuse their waking, directed thoughts with a dusting of dreamworld magic.

Ted Nelson: And that way lies madness?

Ted Nelson’s 70th Birthday Lecture – Part 5 of 15:


  • one is to say what is the real problem .. and that way lies madness
  • and the other is to say, lets just throw in some stuff we have lying around

The issue is that there is no determinate order in which to say things.

What I find most atrocious about Xerox Parc is what they did to cut and past.

The purpose of hypertext was to make visible really complicated documents

Internet Pioneers: Ted Nelson

 He was lonely as a child and had problems caused by his Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

Nelson attended Swarthmore college where he earned a BA in philosophy. In 1960, he enrolled in graduate school at Harvard. During his first year he attempted a term project creating a writing system similar to a word processor, but that would allow different versions and documents to be linked together nonlinearly, by association. This was, in part, an attempt to keep track of his own sometimes frantic associations and daydreamings brought about by his ADD.