New research suggests that waking yourself up just after you fall asleep can boost creativity.
Just after a person falls asleep, they are in the hypnagogia stage, or N1. The time between N1 and your deeper REM cycles is said to be an ideal time to use your brain’s most creative juices.
Thomas Edison and Salvador Dali were said to have known this. They would fall asleep in a chair holding a ball or a spoon and involuntarily drop the object when their bodies entered N1. They claimed that this golden in-between moment of unconsciousness was ideal for solving complex problems.
Scientists tested this on adults by giving them math problems to solve. Those that were allowed to go into N1 were 83% likely to solve the problems versus 30% who had not gone to sleep at all.
I once read a book about lucid dreaming that instructed you to wake up just after falling asleep for this very reason. But I’m a sleepyhead and I’ve spent 11 years being awoken by small children regularly so I am in no mood for this kind of training.