16 02 2012

I’m leaving bright and early tomorrow morning for the 2012 International Students for Liberty conference in Washington, D.C.

Naturally, I haven’t prepared anything. Before 6:00AM tomorrow, I need to do laundry, address and mail copies of the Michigan Review, write a column for the next edition…the list goes on. I probably won’t sleep, at least until I get on the bus.

But that’s maybe not such a bad thing. Some recent studies suggest that sleep deprivation and/or inebriation might actually help unlock creativity. And as we all know, it’s always worth embracing a study that confirms the worth of something you’re already doing:

When you’re solving problems, your brain is built to shine a spotlight on what it considers relevant, ignoring ideas and connections that aren’t likely solutions to your problem. This is a good thing, since without that focus your mind would be flooded with loads of irrelevant information when attempting to solve a simple task, and for what Lehrer calls standard analytic problems, that kind of focus is essential. When it comes to creative problem solving, however, your brain does better without that focus.

Is this validation for my procrastination-driven nocturnal habits? Perhaps. I just hope the burst of sleep-deprived creativity is worth the bout of strep I feel coming on.




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