Sleepless nights, vivid dreaming.
Weird times, amirite?
I don’t know about everyone, but I’ve been having the most vivid dreams since quarantine started. And this week, when many states have started to plan for reopening, or even slowly opening, and my normally quiet anxiety is spiking, I’ve been having an even more difficult time sleeping.
So, since I was awake anyway, I decided to look into sleeping and dreaming, and to explore if there were any ties to stress or spikes in creativity. The short answer is yes to the first part about stress dreaming (in fact, here is a great summary of why we’re collectively dreaming so vividly), but it’s a little less clear on the second part about creativity.
I’ve personally been noticing that my actual productivity is heavily dependent on my ability to tune out both the news and the noise of everyday life, but my creativity has been through the roof. (here’s one study on why that might be).
Boredom might actually beget new projects… I’m restless, stressed, and generally lacking quality sleep, but I’m actually finding that just on the other side of bored really is a gold mine of creativity! I’ve started writing two new books, (both out of my normal genre), actively journaling, baking more… I’ve even been writing poetry which I haven’t done since high school.
Honestly, I probably won’t ever publish most of what I’ve been writing here in quarantine, but it has felt so incredible to stretch those creative muscles.
Back to the dreams: I’ll admit that I’d rather fall asleep fast, and sleep uninterrupted and well. Frankly, I feel that trifecta is every parent’s deepest innermost desire (nevermind that I ordinarily write escapist romance, give me eight hours of deep z’s and I’ll swoon for real). But, during a pandemic, I guess I’ll take the silver lining: strange dreams in living color make for fascinating writing material!
In fact, I’ve even started keeping a journal by my bed. So far, it reads like a MadLibs collection of writing prompts (including one that involved giving my dog a salt scrub – and I don’t have a dog!) However, I’m hopeful that with a little distance from the current global health crisis, some of these are going to make great stories! If not, I’m pretty sure they’ll be good for a giggle or two.
In love and laughter,