/publications/issue/2004/2004-04/2004-04-7781

Sleep Boosts Creativity

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Individuals who are having trouble solving problems may consider sleeping. In a study published in Nature (January 22, 2004), German researchers trained a group of 66 men and women to complete a series of numerical problems, asked them to take a break, and then restarted the test.

The researchers found that participants who slept 8 hours during the break were >2 times as likely to observe a shortcut on the test, compared with participants who were awake all night or all day. The researchers concluded that, as individuals' brain restructures new memories during sleep, it also helps them become more perceptive.