Sleep, and Why We Writers Need It

Sleep, oh how I both love and hate you.  I love you because I need you, but hate you because you take up a third of my life. 

We all need it though, and we can’t escape the fact that we need it.  Without it we can find ourselves acting extremely drunk, and I mean that.  Sleep deprivation equals acting drunk according to most studies done on the subject. 

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours for adults, and even more for teenagers – more like 8-10 hours of sleep. 

But why talk about it on a writing blog?  Sleep is one of the most important things we can actually do to keep us writers functioning and creative.  Without it we find ourselves sitting at our desks attempting to put words on a page and instead we write in that glorious language known as “What the heck was I attempting to do there?” 

Sleep keeps us creative by restoring our minds and bodies. 

A surprisingly large amount goes on as our minds shut off for the night.  Our brains clean up any junk that might have built up during the day, thus decreasing your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

But not only does it clean out the physical waste, it rewires your brain.

This rewiring process cuts the unnecessary neural connections your brain no longer uses, thus giving it more space to build up newer ones: such as getting rid of all those bad writing habits and replacing them with good ones. 

Not only does your brain rewire itself, but it also works on forming memories.  It takes all those things you did today and allows you to remember necessary information such as this blog post, or due dates, or specific details about your characters and plot. 

Along with all this, sleep can help you make decisions.  If you’re sitting at your writing space struggling with something, take a break and possibly a nap.  Both of these allow your brain to work in the background so that you can more clearly figure out how to solve this problem. 

Sleep also helps you to think logically since sleep deprivation can trigger survival instincts that force you to be weary of everything and to no longer think rationally, and lash out or become anxious.  All of which are counter intuitive to writing. 

Overall, SLEEP!!!!!!  You need it.  Without it you cannot write at your top efficiency.  I know when I forgo sleep, for whatever reason, I stare at my screen and immediately go to YouTube instead of working because I can’t focus.  Get some sleep tonight, because the writing can wait if you’re falling asleep at your keyboard. 

 

Again, thank you all for supporting what I do here by reading my stories and blog.  A special thanks to my Patrons for joining up in my goal of becoming a full-time writer.  The next post will be on that glorious act of World Building. 

 

Helpful links and Credits so that you can go back and look at where I’m pulling this information from: 

National Sleep Foundation:  Excessive Sleepiness

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNj1Y11t_x8

It’s Okay To Be Smart:  Why do we need sleep

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mufsteNrTI

 

SciShow:  Sleep: Why we need it and what happens without it

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwNMvUXTgDY

AsapSCIENCE:  How Much Sleep Do you Actually Need?

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVQlcxiQlzI

Dr. Vyga Kaufmann at TEDxBoulder:  How do I sleep better?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNj1Y11t_x8

 

Need help falling asleep?  Check out this video:

How to Get Better Sleep (and Fall Asleep Faster): 5 Essential Tips:  Thomas Frank:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebkF5NFQj2I