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The Creative Juicery

Before I had ever learned about the napping habits of Thomas Edison, I created a 10-minute breathwork routine condensing the Wim Hof breathing rounds. It put me in a dreamy state. I could often sit around afterward in a wonderful meditation where exciting colors and shapes would present themselves in my mind's eye. I called it the Creative Juicery. It feels like the moment you wake up when you still remember your dreams but they're quickly fleeting.



Thomas Edison claimed to sleep only four hours a night, viewing sleep as a waste of time. However, he used a napping technique to enhance creativity by holding balls that would drop as he fell asleep, waking him to capture his drifting thoughts.


Modern research supports Edison's idea. A 2022 study in Science Advances found that people are more creative during the hypnagogic state, a phase just before deep sleep known as N1. Participants who briefly entered this state were nearly three times more likely to solve a hidden math problem than those who stayed awake or fell into deeper sleep.


The study, led by Delphine Oudiette, involved participants holding a glass while resting. If it fell, they reported their thoughts. Results showed those who napped into N1 solved problems more effectively after the break. Although Edison's ball-dropping technique’s effectiveness is uncertain, the study highlights the creative potential of the N1 sleep phase.


Oudiette’s interest in hypnagogic experiences inspired the study, noting historical figures like Alexander the Great and Salvador Dalí used similar techniques. The research suggests that harnessing this sleep state could improve problem-solving, with future studies aimed at teaching people to reach this creative state deliberately.


Try out the breathwork routine for yourself.


While the audio is not perfect but I am guiding a room of 30 people so you can hear the group breathing as a whole which is fun.



Here are some more details in Scientific American about the study.

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