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Sleep Thinking 101: Unlock the Power of Your Sleeping Mind

You can problem-solve during sleep

By Jūlija @beeofjulyPublished 11 months ago 7 min read
Sleep Thinking 101: Unlock the Power of Your Sleeping Mind
Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

You might have heard the advice that if you’re struggling to make a difficult decision, the best way to solve it is to sleep on it.

You might have thought that this sleeping on a problem is just an expression for not worrying too much about it and letting the right answer settle in with time. But it is so much more.

Sleep is anything but a state of mindless idleness. During sleep, long-term memories are entrenched into your brain, skills are enforced and refined, and novel connections are formed between ideas. It’s like having a personal genius on your side, tirelessly working to unlock the solutions you seek.

And this state of creative processing can be used to generate new ideas and innovative solutions, as well as to find concise answers to complex and challenging questions.

And you can harness the power of sleep thinking and use it to your benefit.

In this article, you’ll discover how. But first…

What is Sleep Thinking and where to use it?

Sleep thinking is the art of using the sleeping mind in problem-solving processes. The applications of this method are vast and endless. Here are some areas of your life where sleep thinking can be useful:

  • Identity and Purpose: Discover your true self and unravel the questions that define who you are and what you want in life. Unleash your authentic potential through deep introspection.
  • Personality and Behavior: Decode the intricacies of your behaviors, habits, and traits. Gain insight into why you do what you do and unleash the power of self-improvement.
  • Relationships: Solve relationship puzzles, mend emotional wounds, and foster deeper connections with loved ones. Sleep thinking can help you navigate the complexities of human interaction and reveal the essence of a relationship problem in just a few dreams.
  • Work and Education: Supercharge your career and academic pursuits by exploring innovative solutions and generating fresh perspectives while you snooze.
  • Practical Problems: Conquer everyday challenges through the power of sleep thinking. Whether it’s finding a lost item or tackling a household dilemma, your sleeping mind can be your ultimate problem-solving partner.
  • Intellectual Problems: Take on complex puzzles, academic challenges, and intellectual conundrums with the aid of sleep thinking. Your mind will venture into uncharted territories, unlocking new insights.
  • Creative Projects: Ignite your creative spark and unleash your artistic genius. Sleep thinking can fuel your imagination, helping you overcome creative blocks and manifest innovative ideas.
  • Mental Health: Dive into the depths of your psyche and find solace in the realm of sleep thinking. Explore emotional healing, confront fears, and nurture your mental well-being.

Notable sleep thinkers: Numerous creators, inventors, and scientists have achieved success exactly through the power of their sleeping minds. Salvador Dalí’s dream-inspired paintings challenged artistic conventions, and Yesterday famously came to Paul McCartney during sleep. Mary Shelley wrote her iconic novel Frankenstein and Elias Howe succeeded in inventing the sewing machine inspired by a vivid nightmare. August Kekulé figured out the ring-shaped structure of the benzene molecule, and the periodic table of elements was discovered by Dmitri Mendeleev in a dream. Otto Loewi dreamt of the perfect experiment to prove his theory of the chemical transmission of nerve impulses, something he had struggled to come up with for years, while Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity is said to have been inspired by a dream of cows being electrocuted. So sleep thinking is definitely not just for looney fake spirituality gurus, it is a great tool, employable in all areas of life, and even drives scientific discoveries.


Now that you’ve been introduced to the fascinating possibilities of sleep-based problem-solving, it’s time to dive deeper and discover the pathway to unlocking the full potential of your slumbering mind to make your life easier. Let’s get right into the steps to becoming a sleep thinker.

Step One: Taking Care of Your Sleep Hygiene

You really can’t sleep-think without sleep. Thus, before you start sleep thinking, you’ve got to get your sleep life in order and create the ideal environment for sleep thinking. For this reason,

  • make sure that you receive at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night,
  • ensure that your sleep space is comfortable, quiet, and distraction-free,
  • leave your worries aside and go to bed with a calm and relaxed mind,
  • consider developing a relaxing pre-sleep routine that helps your mind transition into a dream-ready state (such as soothing music, meditation, or journaling before bedtime to calm your thoughts).

Step Two: Analyzing the Issue and Asking the Right Sleep Thinking Questions

Before you start sleep thinking on an issue, it is important to gather information on it and bring to your awareness the data points, ideas, gists, and desires you already have regarding this issue. Take the time to analyze the problem or question you seek to solve, breaking it down into its core components and identifying the key aspects that require attention.

Then formulate clear and concise sleep thinking questions that directly address these elements. To receive the right answers, it is important to master the art of asking the right questions. A good sleep thinking question

  • is specific and to-the-point,
  • is positively affirmative (for example, ask, ‘How can I [do X]?’, instead of ‘Why can’t I [do X]?’),
  • is nautral and analytic (such as ‘What’s at the core of [issue X]?’ or ‘How to [do X]?’, or ‘What aspect of [e.g., my mindset/behaviour/etc] is [causing X]?),
  • is worded so that it means exactly what it means,
  • feels like a wonder, not a worry.

Most importantly, your sleep thinking question should feel right.

It’s alright to ask as many questions as you need to get to the heart of the issue and find the right solution. You can even use sleep thinking to identify the right way to sleep-think on a question: you can sleep-think on sleep thinking. Treat your sleeping brain as a part of yourself and a normal component of your decision-making and problem-solving process.

Step Three: Preparing to Sleep Think

Now’s the time to pose your sleep thinking question of the night. As you settle into bed, free your mind of all your worries and bring your attention to the sleep thinking issue at hand. Simply consider the problem as you drift off to sleep and ask the sleep thinking question calmly to yourself, wondering, not worrying about what the answer may be. Embrace a sense of openness and receptivity, letting go of any expectations and surrendering to the wisdom of your sleeping mind. The right mindset is essential to sleep thinking success.

Step Four: Sleeping on it

Yep, that’s it. Once you’ve fallen asleep with the issue on your mind, your brain starts processing it, and all you have to do is sleep.

If you awake with an insight, write it down before you forget it. Really do write it down.

If you don’t, then ask the question again serenely.

In the morning, spend a little bit of time before you get out of bed to recall your dreams and night thoughts and think if there’s something of relevance, meaning, a dream or thought that involves the issue in a direct or associative manner.

If you forget something of relevance, don’t worry! The thought is somewhere in your subconscious, and it will resurface again, or maybe it has already done its work by shifting your mindset. Just keep thinking, asleep and awake.

Depending on the issue, your state of mind, the effectivity of your questions. as well as a zilllion of factors outside your control, arriving at the right answer might take up several nights, or you might wake up with newfound clarity the morning after. Both are equally possible and completely fine, so be open-minded and patient with yourself!

Step Five: Deciphering Sleep Thoughts

Now that you’ve identified and preferably written down all the dreams relevant to the issue, it is time to get down to extracting the information from it.

Sometimes the message of the dream is pretty direct, but at other times, it comes hidden in obscure associations. So how do you understand it then? Do you go to a seer or analyse dream symbols explained on spirituality blogs?

Absolutely not. Consider

  • the central theme/problem/essence of the dream,
  • elements that bring memories/associations to your mind,
  • surprising/peculiar elements, including your own reactions and characters that follow/attack you,
  • the emotional impact of the dream.

Surely something of this will give you an idea.

Always examine yourself to see whether a meaning/insight/answer/interpretation feels intuitively right and is actually the answer instead of a fulfilment of a wish or anxiety.

What if you analyse a relevant dream thoroughly and try to pick apart all its elements, yet its meaning is still unclear? That’s alright. Consider the dream or sleep thought and decide to sleep-think on the meaning of the previous sleep insight with an open and wondering mind. You will get better with time.

Now, last but not least,

Step Six: Implementing the Insights

Once you have the answers you need, we’ll, you’ve got to do something with them, right?

Sum up the information gathered through the sleep thinking program and make an action plan for the future. If you feel the need to, you can sleep think anew on any step.

Congratulations, you’ve just unlocked the potential of your sleeping mind. Keep dreaming, and keep thinking!


The CarpeNoctem Sleep Thinking Journal not only acts as your second nightly brain, giving you space for analysing the issue, preparing to sleep think, gathering and analysing insights, and forming conclusions, but also contains more in-depth guides on how to sleep-think. Composed of 9 categories covering every aspect of your life, this elegant matte paperback journal is the perfect tool for exploration and self-discovery. Dig deep into any issue relevant to you and harvest the insights your sleeping mind produces!

Find out more here.


For more content related to harnessing the power of your sleeping mind, visit my website, CarpeNoctem.

If you feel like supporting me, you can buy me a cactus 🌵.

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About the Creator

Jūlija @beeofjuly

Heyo, I'm a multipassionate with a love for medicine, natural sciences, linguistics, music, math, and writing, which I use as an excuse to explore anything that captivates my heart and mind.

To learn more or support, click here 🌵.

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