Creativity and insomnia

I have only been here for almost a year, and I have seen pretty much every type of post and poll under the sun, but I haven’t seen a poll on creativity and insomnia.

I don’t think so. I do believe that “creative types” may be more likely to have an odd sleeping behaviour though - compared to “non-creative types”…

IIRC the old philosopher Voltaire used to work for eight hours, then sleep four hours, and get back to work for another eight hours and so on. He still got his 8 hours of sleep every day anyway…

<edit>I’m pretty sure it was Descartes, by the way… perhaps…</edit>

i agree with jamesk

i tend to have strange sleeping patterns but i still get my sleep.


I’m not sure. I have trouble getting to sleep nowadays so I draw something or read. When I get at least a bit sleepy, it’s already 3 am or so. I don’t consider myself very creative, though. My drawings are awful.

PS. I heard from somewhere, that you get more stupid if you sleep under six hours at night.

My sleeping patterns are terribly messed.

Due to my absolutely horrible procrastination with school assignments, I often get somewhere between 3-6 hours of sleep a night, except for on weekends or holidays when I go to bed at like 3:30 am and wake up at 1:00 pm. I’m very glad that school is pretty much over (just gotta write 2 more final exams tomorrow and Friday), so I’ll be sleeping half of the summer away… :frowning:

Over the last couple years, I’ve gone sort of nocturnal. I’m more awake and less tired at 11 pm than I am at 11 am.

This is a little bit of a two barreled question. Mostly, when I am sleepy and cannot sleep I just get cranky and my head starts to hurt, but acasonaly I just might get a creative streak and I just forget that I even were in a need of sleep.

So the answer would be defenit maybe. I cant be sure, that the creative streaks come along the lack of sleep, because I might have my straks well rested too.

I voted yes to this poll even though I am NOWHERE near being an insomniac…

I am closer to being a narcolepic, though I am not this either…

I just remember as a youth lying in bed for hours not being able to sleep. I got much practice illustrating during this time…

Now my job and general distaste for life leave me bedrudgeried at a constant rate. I fall asleep instantly, and want to remain asleep indefinately. I might just take a nap now!!

lol! funny you should mention this…me and lohnc were discussing one night the different stages of insomnia, you know, stages like zombie mode and stage glaze where you just stare for minutes then realize you were staring and try to snap out of it :wink:
so i put all our ideas into a hefty html cause i was REALLY bored and couldnt sleep

i think creativity may be the cause of some insomnia =) always thinking of things to make, or things to do… as for which type is more creative, im not really sure at all but i agree with jamesk about the odd sleeping behaviors

Blengine: LOL

76hour streak??? OMG…that’s crazy so you were a halucinagenic starving atrophy zombie? OMG


I find that it tends to be the other way 'round. For me, I am most creative when I have a lack of sleep rather than being a insomniac due to said creativity.

Yaaaaaawwwwnn What was the question again?

Last night I was brainstorming with the help of Avril Lavinge. (Don’t ask. It’s weird.) As the night went on, I got increasingly sleepy. I finished and went to sleep. Maybe you guys are right.

But sometimes, when I can’t get to sleep, I waste time with something like Tetris. Not creative, so maybe you’re wrong. Whatever.

you suck cubefan!


It depends on what you mean by saying “creative” type…

Oh, it affects your creativity allright…

Perhaps you’ll try to do some work to get tired, at first…

But as the symptoms escalate, you’ll find yourself unable to perform anything creative…

You will only want to sit there and smoke a cigarette, watch t.v. or anything… Just to empty your mind, to send those “annoying” thoughts that don’t let you in peace, away…

Stay awake for 76 hours like blengine says and your brain will completely “freeze”!!!

The rest of the day you’ll be unable to concentrate your mind on anything…

You’ll be exactly like a Zombie…

I think I should clarify a bit. I should re-phrase, do you think creative people are more likely to have problems getting to sleep and keeping regular sleep patterns.

stop that


Slurrpp… slurrpp…

you suck theeth!

The creative temperament and sleep problems can be linked chemically in the brain and statistically through studies. Sometimes it is related to a physical chemical cause such as in conditions like bipolar, other times it is related just to a person’s personality as developed or as the result of environmental effects.

Take interpersonal skills for instance, it may lead as a child to having fewer friends and the child creating more exciting ‘fatasy’ worlds in there imagination. Then through growing up, imagining and being creative may just be more rewarding than relating with other individuals. Thus leading to late night alone at your computer.

Or perhaps some people brains and temperaments are that a creative thought to them, is like the thought of winning a race is to a runner. It would then trigger a chemical response in which they would get excited and geared towards the task, thus putting off sleep.

There is many reasons for sleep disturbances, disorders, and irregular patterns. I know for me, the bipolar can cause sleeplessness that can last for days. It feeds of it for some reason. The resultant (hypo)mania can actually increase the mental activity and decrease the need for sleep. This is where sedatives or sleeping aides can be used to stop the cycle and re-stabalize someone.

Another set of people with extremely interesting sleep patterns are crack-heads. I have seen some people on methamphetamines display some of the exact characterisitcs as someone in severe acute mania or psychosis. This is easily explained though as substances such as cocain or methamphetamines cause huge amounts of dopamine to be released, then prevents the reuptake. Which in turn stimulates the release of adrenaline and sugars into the blood. The end result as affects sleep in that case is self-explanatory.

Then you have the aspect of caffine. Many creative people tend to drink large amounts of caffine. Caffine binds to the adenosine receptors. This prevents the real adenosine from binding and letting your brain know it’s time to get sleepy. Caffine also stimulates the dopamine system, and can even raise the extra-cellular dopamine levels a bit. Having the same effects as things like nicotine, methylphenidate (ritalin, etc…) This is why you may notice people with depression or ADHD (ADD) smoking alot or seemingly chugging coffee without getting hyper.