To sleep, perchance to smell, perchance to create, maybe

One might, maybe inaccurately, sum up this new study by saying, “Put this in your pipe and sleep on it”. The study is:

Good morning creativity: task reactivation during sleep enhances beneficial effect of sleep on creative performance,” Simone Ritter, Madelijn Strick, Maarten Bos, Rick Van Baaren, Ap Dijksterhuis [pictured here], Journal of Sleep Research, epub March 9, 2012.  The authors, at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands and at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, explain:

“Individuals’ creative performance was compared after three different conditions: sleep-with-conditioned-odor; sleep-with-control-odor; or sleep-with-no-odor. In the evening prior to sleep, all participants were presented with a problem that required a creative solution. In the two odor conditions, a hidden scent-diffuser spread an odor while the problem was presented…. After a night of sleep with the conditioned odor, participants were found to be: (i) more creative; and (ii) better able to select their most creative idea than participants who had been exposed to a control odor or no odor while sleeping.”

(Thanks to investigator Carmen Nobel for bringing this to our attention.)