Sleep: Learning, creativity and problem solving


Have you ever gone to sleep thinking about a problem and woken up in the morning with the solution? Good sleep is essential for creative thinking and problem solving. Why is this and how can hypnotherapy help us with this?


There are two main types of sleep: NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement and REM (Rapid Eye Movement). We go through 90 minute cycles of a mixture of these throughout our sleep. NREM is deep sleep. We go through different stages of NREM, going deeper and deeper. It is used for filing and storing memories. It helps to make memories safely stored. REM sleep helps our brain to integrate our new memories with old memories to make new connections.


We can start to see why a good night’s sleep is essential for learning. When we learn during the day we need to sleep well at night to store this new information safely so that we can recall it when we need it. REM sleep helps us make connections between new memories and old ones. Without this integration, we cannot come up with new ideas and ways to solve problems and be creative.


Stress and anxiety can disrupt both NREM and REM sleep. If we feel stressed or anxious, our minds and bodies are more vigilant- our fight/flight response is active. This means we may wake up more easily and not achieve the deep NREM we need to store new memories/learning as well as we should. Disrupting our REM sleep can prevent us from processing emotions from the day as well as stop new memories being integrated.


In clinical hypnotherapy we work on helping you to reduce anxiety so you can sleep better. You will know you are on the road to feeling better when you are sleeping better. When you start to have better quality sleep, it will help you to learn better, solve problems better and be more creative. Get in touch for a chat to see how I can help you at Sandbox Hypnotherapy.


Recommended reading: Why we need sleep. Matthew Walker

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