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Creative Napping – The Wellness Practice That Can Boost Your Business Success

Written by: Danielle Raine, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Danielle Raine

Imagine if you could curl up for a restorative nap, and wake up with a genius insight that takes your business to the next level... Welcome to the wonderful world of Creative Napping.


A woman sleeping in a bed with a white comforter.


As business owners, we know that both productivity and wellness are important, but how often do we have the chance to work on both at the same time?


This is the potential that awaits when you practice the art of Creative Napping.


The link between rest and creativity is well documented. You may even have experienced it yourself if you’ve ever struggled to find new ideas because you’re feeling drained or exhausted, you already know how much the creative mind benefits from rest and sleep.


Creative Napping is a health-boosting and highly effective way to recharge your creative batteries and simultaneously tap into the potential power of your mind, all while enjoying a lovely snooze.


Sound too good to be true?


Here’s a quick guide to this simple yet potent practice that's freely available and can lead to some brilliant, maybe even genius, breakthroughs in your business.


What is creative napping?


Creative napping is an intentional and highly productive practice that can boost creativity, prevent burnout and support overall wellness.


Essentially, it's understanding the potential of naps for inspired breakthroughs, and approaching each nap with intention, expectation, planning, and focus.


Many of history’s great minds have tapped into the inspired magic that happens as we fall asleep. Thomas Edison is perhaps the most famous example, but many more writers, scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs have discovered the treasure trove of ideas and insights that await us as we drift into slumber.


This realm the hypnagogic state is now widely regarded as a valuable connection with the aspects of our minds that aren’t available to us in our full waking state.


In this pre-sleep phase, the boundary between the conscious and the subconscious mind becomes more fluid and malleable.


"You avoid conflict between your conscious and subconscious in the sleepy state." Dr Joseph Murphy, author of The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

This is the realm of heightened intuition, inspired ideas, seemingly miraculous breakthroughs, and those wonderful aha moments when we finally see things more clearly.


Could you use any of these superpowers in your business?!


You can find out more about the art and science of creative napping in the links below, but the best way to discover the benefits is to give it a go in your own life.


Here are some simple guidelines for getting the most out of your new business-boosting nap habit.


How to take a creative nap


There are five factors that turn an ordinary nap into a Creative Nap.


  • Intention

The power of intention is widely documented, and it’s very simple to apply this potent force to get the most out of your naps.


By making a conscious intention to use your nap to find creative solutions and access your genius mind, you kick-start the mental processes that can carry out this work, even while you sleep. In fact, some of these processes do their best work while you’re asleep.


So, as you settle into your nap, decide on a clear intention: What result do you want from this Creative Nap?

  • Priming Your Mind

To ensure your sleeping mind is working on the right issues, the next step is to prime your awareness.


This is another simple and easy process. You just give some focused thought to your business challenge or dilemma, maybe exploring any potential solutions or clarifying any relevant factors.


It’s possible to do this mentally but if you can make some notes or create a mindmap, these physical, tangible actions can be particularly effective at sparking the creative processes in your mind, which will continue running while you’re enjoying your restorative nap.


For a more advanced practice, you could use this Priming time to visualise the Best Possible Outcome, imagining the emotions you'll feel when the problem has been resolved successfully.


Once you’ve set you’re intention and primed your mind with the challenge, it’s time to begin Creative Napping!


"When you stay awake and attempt to create, you are using but a small portion of your mind. When you permit yourself to drop off into peaceful, relaxed sleep after having given proper instruction to your faithful servant, the subconscious mind, you are utilising your greatest mental powers." Ben Sweetland, author of Grow Rich While You Sleep

  • Conscious Drifting

When you're ready to settle into your nap, simply get comfy and allow yourself to relax. You may like to use your favourite pre-sleep techniques such as breathwork or body scanning.


Then it's time to enter what I call the Conscious Drifting phase. This is where you maximise your results by staying alert to when you’re consciousness begins to shift.


With practice, it’s possible to identify the moments when you’re in the in-between phase that woozy state between sleep and wakefulness. This is where the magic happens!


So, when possible, dwell in this phase as long as you can, aiming to stay aware even as you drift into sleep. It sounds contradictory, and admittedly, it can feel a little tricky at first, but like any skill, you'll naturally improve with intention and practice.


In the beginning, don’t stress too much about getting it right. Any strain or tension could counteract your efforts, so just do what you can while staying relaxed. This is a nap after all, so you can take heart that its restorative effects alone will help to boost your creativity.


  • Conscious Waking

If it’s possible to wake naturally from your nap, ie without an alarm, this will give you another opportunity to spend some time in that potent in-between phase.


This is called the hypnopompic state, and it’s another phase when the boundaries between wake and sleep are blurred, giving your conscious and subconscious minds a chance to interact.


Again, with practice, you can train yourself to be more aware of this state and to spend more time in this potent Conscious Waking phase.


You may even be able to 're-mind' yourself of the challenge at hand. Remember that business quandary you set in your Intention and Priming steps? This is the time to call it to mind, and the more effectively you prime your mind, the more likely you'll be able to recall it as you emerge from sleep.


Alternatively, you can make a general request to your creative mind which can be surprisingly accommodating! So, why not ask for genius insights, new perspectives, or a brilliant idea?


Or you can use this phase to simply follow the thread of your subconscious musings, which themselves can often lead to creative and unexpected connections.


  • Recall Focus

This final step is what elevates a simple nap into a creative practice. As you become more alert and awake after your nap, give yourself a few moments to make a conscious note of any ideas, images, or insights that are floating around your mind.


It may feel as though these are slipping away, but with a little gentle perseverance, it’s possible to catch fragments or themes that can be explored when you’re fully awake.


You may find that you wake up with a vivid dream still clear in your mind, or feel a shift in your perception of the problem. You may even wake up with the ultimate prize; an aha or epiphany that helps you see a new potential solution.


Whatever you can recall when you wake from your nap, make some notes, however sketchy or vague. This is where having a notebook or mindmap beside you can help you keep a record of your sleepy-headed musings, which may not make any sense until later.


You can also revisit or add to your Creative Napping Notes throughout the day, as it’s common for ideas and images to flash back into your mind a few hours after your nap.


These may seem illogical or unrelated, but jotting them down will give your mind a prompt for tapping back into those subconscious musings. They can also serve as a valuable starting point for further brainstorming your business challenge in the waking state.


Pro tip 1


If possible, schedule some free time or a high-value business task for the time immediately after your nap. You’ll likely be feeling refreshed and revitalised, which is a great energy to be in for things like creating content, designing customer journeys, or mapping out your big vision.


Anything that would benefit from heightened creativity is a good option for your post-nap period.



Even if you wake up feeling groggy when you first practice, this sleepy-headedness can still yield some surprising creative insights, if you stay open to them coming through.


Michael Sandler, creator of the Automatic Writing Experience, claims that this drowsy state can be a perfect portal for accessing your subconscious processes.


Case in point: Can you guess where I wrote this post? Tucked up in bed, just a few minutes after waking from a lovely sleep.


I'd had the idea before I went to sleep, and made a mental note to revisit it later. Then, when I woke up, I was full of ideas, so I reached for my phone and tapped out this entire post (2000 words) in about 20 minutes.


So, if you can leave some empty space for creative downloads after your nap, you’ll be able to enjoy even more benefits from this practice. You may even find that it becomes a route to your most efficient, productive and inspired output.


Pro tip 2


You can practice this method with your nightly sleep, not just short naps. Imagine how quickly you’ll hone this skill if you practice a little every night as you fall asleep, and every morning when you wake up.


You'll soon be Creative Napping like a master, and your business, productivity, health, and mental clarity will all reap the benefits of this powerful and restorative practice.


Advanced creative napping


This is a basic technique for getting started with Creative Napping, but if this kind of wellness based productivity appeals to you, there are lots of ways you can hone this skill and improve the results of your naps.


Exploring lucid dreaming is a particularly powerful way to access the gifts of your sleeping mind. And if you’re open to a controversial idea of staying in bed to be more productive, this tip for a creative use of the snooze button is one of my favourites, especially in winter when it’s so tempting to stay tucked under a warm duvet.


You can explore my growing collection of Productive Sleep Tips in my free guide: How to be more productive (when you just want to sleep)


Over to you: Is it nap time?


Now it's over to you to begin your experiments with Creative Napping. As you practice, you’ll soon find the ways that work best for your body and mind. You may also see some beneficial ripple effects beyond your sleep insights.


For example, taking time to rest during a busy day can naturally boost energy levels and concentration two assets for any business owner. And when you know the potential benefits of a Creative Nap, you'll be more likely to make room for it in your schedule.


Regular napping may also lead to other benefits such as sharper, clearer or more creative thinking when you're working on your business. All these potential benefits, just from catching a few productive Zzzzzs.


So, I hope I’ve inspired you to discover the power and magic of Creative Napping for yourself. You may find, as I have, that it becomes a favourite go-to technique for accessing creative solutions a practice that can benefit both your business and your health.


And if you’d like more wellness-based, feel-good tips for creativity, happiness and success, you receive a bespoke selection when you sign up for my free Creative Flow Chart.


You can also treat yourself to a toolkit of powerful self-coaching tips with my book, Tonics For Your Creative Spirit.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Danielle Raine Brainz Magazine
 

Danielle Raine, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Danielle Raine is a holistic creativity expert and mindset coach for creatives and entrepreneurs.

She has been studying the creative process since an epiphany at Art School in 1993 that revealed how to access the flow state.


For three decades, she's been working and experimenting in the creative fields of design, blogging, publishing, marketing, tech, and entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on the nature of inspiration and flow productivity.


Her speciality is a wellness-based, feel-good approach to creative fulfilment and success, along with an enduring theme of enjoying the journey as much as possible.


Through her coaching, courses, books, and blogs, her mission is to share the simple, practical tools that create rapid shifts and inspiring results, so that her clients, students, and readers can do more of the work they love to do, and bring their most exciting creative visions to life.


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