"Blessed are the sleepy ones," writes Nietzsche, "for they shall soon drop off." Sleep is an extraordinarily, albeit profoundly odd, phenomenon, yet we seem to accept prolonged nightly blackouts w
From The Committee of Sleep by Deirdre Barrett
Psychologists have developed incubation rituals to encourage problem-solving dreams. These usually target interpersonal and emotional problems, but they are also relevant to objective creative tasks. Incubation instructions usually include:
1) Write down the problem as a brief phrase of sentence and place this by the bed.
2) Review the problem for a few minutes just before going to bed.
3) Once in bed, visualize the problem as concrete image if it lends itself to this.
4) Tell yourself you want to dream about the problem just as you are drifting off to sleep.
5) Keeping a pen and paper--perhaps also a flashlight or pen with a lit tip--on the night table.
6) Upon awakening, lie quietly before getting out of bed. Note whether there is any trace of a recalled dream and invite more of the dream to return if possible. Write it down.
Sometimes the incubation also involves:
7) At bedtime, visualize yourself dreaming about the problem, awakening, and writing on the bedside note pad.
8) Arrange objects connected to the problem on the night table or on the wall across from bed if they lend themselves to a poster.