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


7 Crucial Things to Know About Bill Gates, Future Presidential Candidate

Another day, and still more evidence that Bill Gates is going to run for president.The latest proof: His recent media tour, including stops on ABC's Good Morning America, CNN, The Ellen DeGeneres Show,... (contd.)

15 Life Lessons I Learned by 50 (That I Wouldn’t Have Believed in My 20s)

What do 50-year-olds know that 20-year-olds often don't? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.Answer by Phyl Bean, Attorney at Phyl Bean... (contd.)

5 Tips for Being a Disciplined Investor

When it comes to building wealth, the average person has two options: earning income or investing. Most people require both a stable income and consistent investing to truly amass wealth over their... (contd.)

6 Keys to Attracting and Nurturing Breakthrough Innovators on Your Own Team

Breakthrough innovation is the dream of every entrepreneur, but it's still a scarce commodity. Selecting and nurturing people who are likely to help you in this regard is an even more elusive capability, and... (contd.)

Boost Your Brand With These 7 Creative Marketing Strategies for 2018

If you're anything like me, one of the biggest reasons you tune into the Super Bowl each year is to check out the latest and greatest commercials. I don't know about you,... (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