NaNoWriMo Writing Tip #5: Sleep

Let Sleeping Children Lie
As this kid knows, sleep is highly important. (Photo credit: stewickie)

I have shifted to dropping daily writing tips because I have given all the time management tips I live by.  I will now be posting writing tips to make your life this month easier if you are attempting to do the NaNoWriMo competition.


It is highly important to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night for three reasons:


1.  Rest – Your brain needs to take a break and rest.  You could read this article about all of the benefits that a good night’s sleep provides, but you do not have time because you are writing the NaNoWriMo.  Just trust me.  Your brain needs to rest from all of the creative activity it is doing for you.  Sleep is the best way to do this.  Experts say that if you find that you are drowsy during the day while doing something that would be boring to you, you are not getting enough sleep.


2.  More Ideas – Some of the most activity your brain performs is during sleep.  I usually write just before I go to bed.  I will often write until I cannot think of anything else to write (after hammering out the 1000 words of course).  When I go to sleep, my brain goes to work trying to create the world of my novel and often my dreams gravitate toward that world.  My brain works out problems during my sleep cycle that often wake me during the night or the next morning with ways to further my creative efforts from the night before.  Your brain needs time to mull things over, and the best time for it is when you hit the REM cycle.


3.  Stress Relief – Writing the NaNoWriMo is probably the most stressful thing you could put yourself through (other than, apparently, the anxiety that comes just before doing math).  Stress is not just mental as it can also cause physical problems from muscle aches to stomach ailments.  It is highly important to get a good night’s sleep in order to allow your body to completely relax.  If you have to medicate in order to do so, then do so.  On highly productive evenings, I have to make myself go to bed and must take an over the counter sleeping pill just to quiet down my mind enough to get to sleep.  My body, however, thanks me for it in the morning, and I make sure to make notes about what I was thinking the night before so that I can rest.


Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

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