Many members of my insomnia support group are creative - in fact, we've had a few discussions about whether insomnia breeds creativity or whether creativity breeds insomnia.
Now it would appear that both theories may be incorrect - it may actually be sleep that makes us creative (not a lack of it)!
For most of us, we're at our creative best shortly after we wake up. Apparently, tackling creative work as soon as we wake is a technique used by many writers and inventors.
Apparently, there's a reason for this phenomenon.
When we sleep, we dream. When we dream we create connections between unconnected things (for example, I might dream that I was in a train made out of bananas - two things that have no rational connection).
This is actually similar to how creative people work; they create connections between things that others wouldn't have thought of, in a way that makes sense.
When we first wake up, we're in a hypnopompic (a daydream-like) state. As the day progresses, our waking consciousness takes over, bringing us back to reality.
Studies have shown that sleep helps us build remote associations that would be far more difficult to make if we were sleep deprived (or awake for a lengthy period of time).
So, if you're a creative professional, sleep may be even more important for your creativity than sleep deprivation!
Source: BBC Neurohacks
Last updated: January 21, 2014