Scientific American: A new study reports that we have a brief period of creativity and insight in the semilucid state that occurs just as we begin to drift into sleep (sleep phase N1).

Oudiette hopes not only to confirm her findings in future research but also to determine if focusing on our hypnagogic state might help solve real-world tasks and problems by harnessing the creative potential of that liminal period between sleep and wakefulness. Additionally, she and her group are considering the potential of brain-computer interfaces to precisely identify brain-wave patterns associated with the onset of sleep, allowing the precise identification of when people should be woken up during their moments of putative insight.

“We could even teach people how to reach this creative state at will,” Oudiette envisions. “Imagine playing sounds when people are reaching the right state and other sounds when they are going too far into sleep. Such a method could teach them how to recognize the creative state and how to reach it.”

Read more about the N1 sleep study at