Why do I always come up with my best ideas when I’m trying to get to sleep? © Getty Images

Why do I always come up with my best ideas when I’m trying to get to sleep?

Asked by: Yasmin Hayes (age 13)

The transition from wakefulness to sleep is called the ‘hypnagogic state’, and this is thought, anecdotally, to be associated with creativity. The surrealist artist Salvador Dalí called it the “slumber with a key”, and Mary Shelley said that the idea for her novel Frankenstein came to her during a “waking dream”.

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There’s actually been little scientific research into the link between the hypnagogic state and creativity, but during this state, our mind is free to wander, and this could make us more likely to have spontaneous, creative thoughts. If you fall asleep immediately after this state, you will likely forget your inspirational ideas, so maybe keep a pen and paper by your bedside!

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