Need Fresh Ideas? Start With This 1 Habit

Getting more sleep could have a huge impact on your creativity.

We all rely on ideas. Ideas for revenue growth. Ideas to attract new users. Ideas to improve customer satisfaction. Ideas to decrease customer churn. So what can you do come 2018 to increase your powers of idea generation? According to a recent study, published in the January 2018 Journal of Business Venturing, the one simple habit you need to increase your powers of idea generation is sleep.

Recovery enhances creativity.

A decade ago, research published by the University of Bath’s Dimo Dimov demonstrated that creativity is important for becoming an entrepreneur and successful in business. This 2017 research explored a new perspective by investigating how recovery from work stress influences entrepreneurs’ daily idea generation, a key aspect of creativity.

Physiological and mental recovery enables the cognitive processes of creative problem-solving. Recovery from work refers to activities that rebuild mental and physiological resources after work and help to recuperate from job stress. Recovery activities might include: meditation, yoga, aerobic activity (e.g. running), napping, etc.

The researchers in this most recent study, operating out of Technische Universität Dresden and Aston University, conducted a diary study with 62 entrepreneurs over 12 days. They measured entrepreneurs’ daily creativity and work-related problem-solving pondering after work in evening telephone interviews, and assessed their sleep efficiency objectively through actigraphic devices that entrepreneurs wore on their wrists during the night.

Creativity and sleep are interrelated.

Actigraphy is a non-invasive method of monitoring human rest and activity cycles. A small actigraph unit, also called an actimetry sensor, is worn for a week or more to measure gross motor activity. The unit is usually, in a wristwatch-like package, worn on the wrist.

The actigraphs measured sleep efficiency–the time spent asleep while in bed. This has long been held as a key indicator of good sleep health and sleep quality. Sleep efficiency in this research as defined as an estimate of uninterrupted sleep during the sleep period. It takes into account wakeful moments and related activity. If you are interested in monitoring your sleep efficiency, that feature is offered through many smartwatches and related devices and apps.

Don’t leave problems at the office.

The research found:

  • Recovery is an important antecedent of entrepreneurs’ creativity.
  • Sleep efficiency enhances entrepreneurs’ creativity on the subsequent day.
  • Entrepreneurs who reflect on how to solve problems outside of working hours generate more novel ideas.

The report in question provides multilevel analyses based on 415 daily data points from 62 entrepreneurs which support these findings. The study highlights the critical role of recovery processes for idea generation and the integral role that sleep efficiency plays in recovery.

So if tomorrow is going to be a day in which creativity plays a key role, take a nap, or go to bed early and add a few extra hours to your sleep. The dividends will be tangible.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

Read Next


Google Wanted to Know What What Makes a Manager Great, so It Conducted a Study. Here Are the Results

20 years ago, you probably would've laughed if someone said your life would one day be irrevocably changed by a company called Google. What's a google?But, as you know, Google's become the largest entity in one of... (contd.)

Your Guide to Innovating Like Amazon: Focus on Inspiring People

Innovation is imperative for long-term success, but most companies struggle to maintain an innovative approach over the long haul.Innovation ultimately is driven by the individual people inside the organization, and it requires personal investment. If... (contd.)

How to Hook Your Audience Within the First 60 Seconds

How you open and close your presentation decides everything.Nothing matters more for effectiveness.The internet is full of great ideas for how to open and how to close speeches. You'll be ahead of most speakers if you... (contd.)

Why Investing in Gender Equality is Crucial for Your Business’s Future

We just saw another International Women's Day come and go, and the interest in this 100-year-old holiday is greater than ever. For proof, just look to Google's Think with Google blog. According to Google's... (contd.)

3 Valuable Business Lessons You Can Learn From a Bicycle

I actually cannot recall where I first heard this, but it was many years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. The story was that a student came to school on his... (contd.)
- Advertisement -
Join Our Daily Newsletter
Sign up to get all the business news and intelligence that matters straight to your mailbox.
Join Our Newsletter !
Like This Article? Subscribe To Our Newsletter To Receive More Of Them Straight In Your Inbox
Contact Us.
Your Name
Thank you for your interest in Inc. Arabia. Please leave your contact details below, and we'll be in touch with you very soon.
Like This Article? Subscribe To Our Newsletter To Receive More Of Them Straight In Your Inbox