THE BLOG
10/30/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Sleep... and Get Rich

Okay, so I know that sounds like a gimmick. If anyone could get rich automatically through sleeping, we'd all be filthy wealthy after a few priorities changes. But here's what I mean: how may of you have arrived at a solution, invention, or great idea during dreamful sleep?

I'm wondering this because of a music site reporting how Kid Rock attributes many of his successes to insomnia. He claims that he came up with the idea for his hit song "All Summer Long" thanks to a restless night... and that he "can't stop dreaming up new tunes."

Did you catch that? He claims he "dreams" up his tunes during "restless sleep." The two don't really go hand in hand, do they? If you have insomnia, you're not sleeping. If you're dreaming, you're very much enjoying a special stage of sleep. According to Kid Rock, he hasn't a full night's sleep in years. He says his brain "never stops" and that he keeps a notepad by the bed to record his mid-night thoughts.

It's common to experience a night of dreams so vivid and memorable that you feel awake for most of it. People who say they "don't sleep" actually do, and if you were to get them in a sleep lab you'd watch them sleep for several more hours than they think they do.


If Kid Rock is truly drumming up songs in his sleep, then he's
awakening at the end of the sleep cycle long enough to record his
thoughts and then fall back asleep. You dream in deep sleep just before
coming back to a lighter stage of sleep, where you can wake up. (This
explains why you remember a dream when you wake up, or feel yourself
being pulled from a dream to a wakeful state.)  But if he's truly got
insomnia, then he could be staring at the ceiling using his thoughts as
a distraction from focusing on sleep.

I'm all for keeping a journal by the bedside. You never know what
dreams--or insomnia for that matter--can reveal. If worries keep you
awake, a worry journal could allow you to write them down with their
potential solutions so you can rest easy and actually get to sleep. If
you have an a-ha moment in your sleep you could jot it down quickly so
you don't forget it by the time you get up.

You never know: maybe
you'll dream up the next best thing to peanut butter and jelly, or
Google, or a cure for cancer. Bear in mind that restful sleep will help
you to think clearly and work with that new idea the next day, when
you're trying to do something with it in the real world. A double-edged
benefit.

I'm certain that dreams have played a role in many hits
and inventions through the years. I believe there IS something to be
said for "sleep and grow rich." Just be sure you don't sleep all day,
or your great idea will never get out of bed, either.

This article is cross-posted at Dr. Breus's official blog, The Insomnia Blog.