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Maybe You Should Sleep On It

April 30th, 2019

If you’ve ever had a dream (most of us), you know they can be fun, interesting and wildly bizarre. For instance, my last dream had the lush setting of the Ritz Carlton where I was stuck in a glass elevator with Michael Keaton and Ryan Reynolds, all of us wearing bright green St. Patrick’s Day outfits and holding French bulldogs. Before you can judge me, I’m sure you’ve had weirder dreams than that.

Dreams can be a gateway to new and unique ideas. Ever woken up in the middle of the night with the most brilliant of brilliant ideas? Well, one of the reasons you can be so creative in your dreams is that there isn’t anything holding you back – if you want to breathe underwater, you can! And these ideas can translate into more lucid formats once you hit that snooze button in the morning.

Research has found that people who recall more dreams actually score higher on creative tasks. As an ad agency, Bozell is constantly in need of being creative and thinking of the far-fetched ideas to make work come to life.

So, here’s a few tips and tricks to help you improve your dreaming creativity before, during and after your head hits the pillow.

  1. Write it Down: As soon as you wake up in the morning (or middle of the night), write down everything you can remember about your dream. It seems like as soon as you wake up, you tend to forget large portions of the dream you just had. That’s okay. Dream journals are a great way to help boost the creativity you have while dreaming. Writing down key words and events that happened can help to boost your memory and make you remember other pieces of your dream. By having these notes, you can start to think back on your dreams and pull the creative pieces that you may want to use for something else – idea generation, projects, etc.
  2. Read (Or Watch) About It: While dream journaling happens after a dream takes place, below is something you can do before you even get into bed and start dreaming. Research has found that memory tends to work best when you read or look at something right before bed. For example, if you watch a sci-fi movie right before bed, chances are you’re going to have bits and pieces of that world get pulled into the dreams you have that night. So, if you’re working on a project and lacking creative ideas, look over the project right before bed. Your mind will subconsciously pick this up and you might just find some creative solutions you were lacking in the real world. And if you’re just looking to have more creative dreams, read a book about your favorite topics and let your mind do the rest. Just be sure to write it all down when you wake up!
  3. Lucid Dreaming:My final suggestion is a bit more on the extreme side and something that can be very difficult to do. This is knowing what you’re dreaming while you’re dreaming it. For example, when you’re simply dreaming, you often don’t have control over your actions – you’re just along for the ride. In lucid dreaming, you can control exactly what happens and it often feels like you’re actually there. Pretty cool, right? This would be the ultimate way to expand your creativity since you still don’t have limitations on what you can dream, but you’re also able to control the specific ideas that you might have or creative thoughts you want to explore. While there are many ways to start lucid dreaming, here’s one guide that might help get you started pretty quickly.

While dreaming may not be as reliable as sitting at a desk coming up with creative solutions, it can be a really fantastic way to explore and discover ideas that you may not have thought of when you were awake. It’s a chance to take a step back from your normal creative problem-solving and idea generation methods and try something new. And yes, it may sometimes lead to some very bizarre dreams, but it could also lead to your next big idea.

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