From the Editor; November/December 2011; Scientific American Mind; by Sandra Upson; 1 Page(s)
Inspiration often seems to pop up unpredictably—in the shower, on a long walk or even at the grocery store. But one place I never expect it is during sleep. I tend to think of myself as a computer: at bedtime I power myself down with teeth brushing and pillow fluffing, and soon enough my brain switches off.
That analogy, however, is dead wrong. Your sleeping brain has simply entered an alternative mode of thinking, as psychologist Deirdre Barrett writes in “Answers in Your Dreams.” With your eyes closed and limbs immobilized, your brain spins fanciful webs of ideas that your waking mind might have filtered out. In that rich environment, your creativity and problem-solving skills can blossom.