Table of Contents

Can’t find that perfect training idea for next week’s session? Sleep on it.

When there’s a deadline looming and you haven’t quite found the right creative solution for an upcoming training program, it’s tempting to keep pushing late into the day, even into the night, until a good idea finds you.

According to an article I recently read in a Time magazine special edition focused on the science of creativity, pushing through and sacrificing sleep may not yield the result you’re hoping for. 

In an article entitled The Power of Sleep: Our Uncensored, Slumbering Brains can Dream Up Limitless Vistas, Jeffrey Kluger offers a 3-page review of some interesting studies on the connection between sleep and creativity.

While he offers some insights as to why it may be good for your creative side to have dreams where you’re back in high school, except it’s not your old high school, but for some reason in the dream your mind told you it was your high school, and your college roommate decides to take a flying car past the whomping willows and crash the gates of Hogwarts, except instead of Hogwarts you crash the car into the frozen food aisle of a corner bodega, the part of the article I found most interesting (and more transferable to my work) was a little strategy you can do right before going to sleep.

“Engaging in some pre-bedtime priming – contemplating a problem you’d like to solve – increases the likelihood that sleep will bring some answers. Up to a third of subjects in Watson’s sample groups reported that priming had helped them find a solution that had eluded them during the day.”

My one-word resolution for this year is “new”. As part of that, I’ve been on the lookout for new research. I’m sure I can go out and find a gazillion other articles about the connection between sleep and creativity, but for now, this article will suffice. The idea of priming my brain just before drifting off into blissful slumber is something I’m going to try as clients continue to demand increasingly creative solutions to keep people engaged in professional development.

How about you? Have you found that a good night’s sleep helps you come up with better and more creative training solutions? Or does it stress you out, only for you to wake up and curse yourself for trading two or three hours from the previous night that you could have been working on a problem? I’d love to read your experiences and thoughts in the comment section.


Articles Similar to Can’t find that perfect training idea for next week’s session? Sleep on it.

Nate Martin on Escape Room designs for training
Instructional Design
Brian Washburn

Instructional Design & Escape Room Design

If you’ve ever been to an escape room, you can observe what a group of highly engaged people look like for 60 straight minutes. Is there a way to harness escape room design elements and bring them into the world of corporate training?

How to create a training plan in under 10 minutes

Using a lesson plan template (which is the most downloaded resource from this blog) can help give you structure. Using Soapbox can save you all sorts of time (and still give your presentation some structure)!

Does training actually change behavior?

Does training actually change behavior? It’s a question we should be able to answer honestly. (And the answer is: No, not 100%… and yes, but seriously, not 100%)

Hybrid Learning: When to use it

Recently I had an opportunity to talk with the folks at Mimeo about hybrid learning and when to use it. In today’s post, I share a link to that podcast, which is one in a series of podcasts they did with industry leaders on hybrid learning strategies.

L&D Lessons Learned from Being a Parent (Part 5 of 5)

Once we get into a comfortable routine, how easy is it to want to try something new? Erin Clarke shares a few ah-ha’s about what she discovered and how she became better when she decided to leave her comfort zone and try something new.

Subscribe to Get Updates from Endurance Learning

Brian Washburn, Author

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll send you the latest updates from our blog. Thanks for following!

Grow your L&D Career Today!

The Foundations of L&D course through the L&D Pro Academy provides the concepts and practical experience you need to grow your confidence and abilities as a well-rounded L&D professional.

Enter your email below and we’ll be in touch with an info sheet!

L&D Pro Academy

Find Your L&D Career Path

Explore the range of careers to understand what role might be a good fit for your L&D career.

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the What’s Possible in L&D Worksheet.

What's possible in L&D

Let's Talk Training!

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll get back to you soon.

Download the Feedback Lesson Plan

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the lesson plan as a PDF.

feedback lesson plan
MS Word Job Aid Template

Download the Microsoft Word Job Aid Template

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the Word version of this template.

Download the Free Lesson Plan Template!

Enter your email below and we’ll send you a Word document that you can start using today!

free lesson plan template
training materials checklist

Download the Training Materials Checklist

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the Training Materials Checklist.

Subscribe to Endurance Learning for updates

Get regular updates from the Endurance Learning team.