We all know that sleep is important, but did you know your brain actually works while you sleep?

Sleeping is one of the best ways to get a new idea. While our body rests, our mind is hard wired to get creative work done. Brain scans show that the sleeping brain is wildly active, making creative connections. This makes your dreams seem seem weird, but it also can make you wake up with out of the box ideas.

I believe sleeping on a problem is a life skill that we can all learn. Let me help you surprise yourself with unexpected, usable concepts.

Sleep might, in fact, be your best brainstorming time.

People ask me what would be a great question to sleep on.
Here’s is a few tips that work for me:

  • Choose a topic you care about. This could be a work problem that you are stuck on, or perhaps a personal question where you can use some new insight.
  • Make it about you, because you are only in charge of your own actions. So instead of: ‘Will I get a new job?’ or ‘Does he love me?’, you might want to ask: ‘what can I do to get closer to my dream job?’ or ‘What can I learn right now about love?’
  • Come from a place of curiosity, and expect to be surprised.

Intentionally sleeping on a question in 4 steps

1- Solidify your question
Finding the right words for a question can be a great asset. The more precise, the easier it is to focus your brain. Writing the question down, and thinking about it before falling asleep are great ways to solidify.
Bonus tip: You might want to create a memory hack by smelling a nice scent while you work on your question. This creates a memory association between your question and this specific scent. Read more about the science behind this here.

2 – Sleep with pen and paper next to your bed
Most people like to use a diary, or simply use their phone. The goal is to make sure that you can catch your first ideas immediately when you wake up. If you had a nice scent while working on your question, put that next to your bed, so you smell it while you sleep. The scent association will nudge your mind to remember your question while dreaming.

3- In the morning, write down your ideas, thoughts, feelings or dreams
Don’t worry if it’s as vague as one word, a feeling, or even a song playing in your head. Write it down without editing, critical thinking comes later.
Most people like to do this for 3-4 days in a row, writing something down every morning.

4- Review your findings
Now it’s time for critical thinking. After 3-4 days, sometimes even a week if you like, review your notes to see what ideas and themes pop up.
People have told me they were suprised by the inspiration they found!

Want to know more about the theory and science behind sleeping on a question? These blogs might help:

Dreaming: the ultimate brainstorm technique
Sleep as late as you want, and solve problems at the same time? Harvard professor Deirdre Barrett’s studies show that sleeping in is an effective brainstorming method. Read more… 

Use Scent to Kick Your Brain into High Gear While you Sleep
Scent is a very powerful memory stimulator. The brain’s funny that way. Another interesting thing about the brain: it works super hard during sleep. So, what if we put these two ideas together? A group of Dutch scientists did just that. Read here about the research…

How to Run a Business in your Sleep (podcast)
We all know that sleep is important but let’s take this to the next level. Solve problems, get creative and then get more done during the day too. Listen to the podcast…


For maximum impact, I offer a 1:1 Sleep-On-It Program

Please contact me for more information.
Coach Leona Carter tried it out, hear her experience:


Let’s hang out!

on Clubhouse: @nicoline4dreams

on Instagram @thinkinginyoursleep (my DM’s are open)