Einstein Floors Frankenstein, The Terminator, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones in Vote for Greatest Ever Idea While Asleep
• Poll marks 200th birthday of novel Frankenstein, published 1818 after idea for it came to author Mary Shelley in a dream
• Relativity theory beats periodic table, sewing machine for top spot in YouGov poll for Calm.com. Frankenstein ranks 8th
• Paul McCartney's "Yesterday" is top-ranking arts idea
• Terminator, Jekyll & Hyde, Keith Richards all make top 10
Dream-it-yourself: How to hatch your own ideas while you sleep
With The Frankenstein Chronicles now available on Netflix we've come up with the top 10 Frankenstein productions of all time so you don't have to!
TOP 10 FRANKENSTEIN PRODUCTIONS OF ALL TIME
1: The Frankenstein Chronicles (2015) Dir: Barry Langford, stars Sean Bean & Richie Campbell
2: Victor Frankenstein (2015) Dir: Paul McGuigan, stars Daniel Radcliffe & James MacAvoy
3: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) Dir. Kenneth Branagh, stars Robert De Niro & Kenneth Branagh
4: Young Frankenstein (1974) Dir: Mel Brooks, stars Gene Wilder & Madeline Kahn
5: The Evil of Frankenstein (1964) Dir: Freddie Francis, stars Peter Cushing & Peter Woodthorpe
6: The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) Dir: Terence Fisher, Stars Peter Cushing & Francis Matthews
7: The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) Dir: Terence Fisher, stars Peter Cushing & Hazel Court
8: Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) Dir: Charles Barton, stars Bud Abbot & Lou Costello
9: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) Dir: James Whale, stars Boris Karloff & Elsa Lanchester
10: Frankenstein (1931) Dir: James Whale, stars Colin Clive & Mae Clarke
Einstein's theory of relativity has been voted the greatest idea ever inspired by sleep, in an international poll by a leading sleep app.
It topped a dazzling list of such ideas, ahead of the periodic table of elements in second place and the invention of the sewing machine in third – in a survey of 4,453 Americans and Britons by pollsters YouGov on behalf of Calm.com, the meditation and sleep app recently named Apple's App of the Year.
Calm commissioned the poll to mark the 200th anniversary this March of Frankenstein, the Gothic novel first published in 1818 after the idea came to its teenage author Mary Shelley in a dream about a corpse brought back to life by electricity.
"So, was Frankenstein the greatest idea ever conceived while asleep?" asks Michael Acton Smith, co-founder of Calm, which helps users sleep with a growing library of both sleep music and over 80 bedtime stories for grown-ups known as Sleep Stories. "The answer, says our poll, is: 'No, far from it'."
Frankenstein shared just eighth place in the poll with the great Rolling Stones song, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction".
"Yesterday", The Beatles song whose tune came to Paul McCartney in his sleep one night in 1964, polled highest of any idea from the arts rather than sciences, ranking fifth overall – one behind the model of atom, devised by the Danish physicist Neils Bohr.
Respondents to Calm's poll picked from a short-list of 12 great ideas either conceived during sleep or/and inspired by dreams.
"It's a stunning list", says Alex Tew, co-founder of Calm. "Sleep is not just vital to health but perhaps the greatest single source of creativity."
Sixth place in Calm's poll went jointly to The Terminator, the movie character which first appeared to director James Cameron in a dream, and the principles of analytic geometry, devised by René Descartes, the 17th century French philosopher and mathematician who reputedly slept up to 12 hours a day.
Einstein's famous theory, however, comfortably topped the poll, with 23% of the vote, ahead of the periodic table on 13% and the sewing machine on 10%. No other idea, including "Yesterday" (5%), polled more than single figures.
Einstein's journey to the theory of relativity reportedly began with a dream about a field of cows surrounded by an electric fence. But when he told the farmer who he met in the dream what he'd seen and the farmer's account differed, it gave Einstein the key insight that the same event could look different from different perspectives.
The periodic table of chemical elements, on the other hand, seems to have appeared fully formed to the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in his sleep on the night of February 17, 1869. "I saw in a dream a table where all the elements fell into place as required," he wrote. "Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper. Only in one place did a correction later seem necessary."
Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones did not even have to write down the opening verse of the great Stones' song, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction". When he woke in the morning of May 7, 1965, he found that he had unwittingly committed it to a tape recorder during the night.
"Sleep is the only source of invention", felt Marcel Proust, the great French writer. Winston Churchill agreed that the best time and place to get ideas was when asleep.
The French poet, Saint-Pol-Roux, reputedly hung a sign on his bedroom door before sleep that read, "Le Poète Travaille" ["Poet at Work"]. John Steinbeck, the American author and Nobel laureate wrote, "A problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.
This kind of "intelligent information processing that inspires creativity and promotes problem-solving" is a distinct benefit of REM- [Rapid Eye-Movement] sleep and the act of dreaming," says Matthew Walker, the Berkeley University sleep scientist, in his acclaimed new book, "Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams."
"Sleep seems to stimulate your mind to make non-obvious connections", Walker has said. "It puts all the information from the day into a big biological theatre and forces the mind to speak to people at the back of the theatre, who you may not think you have any connection with. This is the basis of creativity – connecting ideas, events and memories that wouldn't normally fit together.
REM-sleep, and the dreaming process associated with it," says Walker, "is "informational alchemy", from which have come some of the most revolutionary leaps forward in human progress."
Life-Hacks: Four Ways To Come Up With Ideas In Your Sleep
Is "Sleep-storming" the new brainstorming?
Not only is it possible to boost your odds of generating ideas while you sleep but there's even a scientific name for it: "Structured unconscious generative ideation".
A non-scientific name for it might be "sleep-storming" – as in brainstorming, but done solo and while you're asleep.
But can you really train your brain to harvest your sleep for ideas? And is sleep-storming the new brainstorming?
Here are four simple ways suggested by Calm to increase your chances of coming up with ideas while you sleep – and/or capturing the ones that you do.
1. Keep a Notebook Handy + Write Down Your Dreams
It can be hard to remember your dreams and/or any ideas they inspire. So, always keep a notebook by your bed. Get into the habit of writing down your dreams – and any ideas they might trigger – immediately on waking and almost before you are fully awake. Write down every dream you can recall rather than being selective. The act of writing them down helps you build a relationship with your subconscious, which should in turn help improve your dream recall.
"I always keep a notebook by my bed," says Michael Acton-Smith, co-founder of Calm. "And I write down ideas that I've had in the night the moment I wake."
2. Ask Your Subconscious The Question You're Trying to Answer
"Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious", advised Thomas Edison, the great inventor. So, instead of just falling asleep, brief or prime your subconscious to generate new ideas. Before falling asleep, ask yourself the question that you're trying to answer; then, finally, focus on something else, such as reading or relaxation technique.
3. Wake Yourself Mid-Sleep
Waking yourself while dreaming or starting to fall asleep was a technique used by both the artist Salvador Dalí and the inventor Thomas Edison. Dali would put a tin plate on the floor and then sit on a chair beside it, holding a spoon over the plate. He'd then try to doze off so that the spoon would fall and wake him. Edison did similar but with ball bearings and a saucepan. The aim for both was to jolt themselves awake in order to capture ideas from their dreams.
4. Learn to Have "Lucid Dreams"
Lucid dreaming is the sense of being consciously aware that you are dreaming. This state can help you to explore ideas, control elements of your dream and have better than normal dream recall than. Learning to dream lucidly takes time and practice. You need to try repeating a mantra telling yourself that you want to dream or know that you are dreaming and, for example, want to be aware that you are dreaming and to remember the dream.
The Poll Question In Full:
Q. The following – very different – ideas were all conceived during sleep and/or inspired by dreams. Which ONE of these ideas would you consider the best or "greatest" idea (i.e. in the sense that you're most glad that someone ever had the idea in question)?
|1.||The Theory of Relativity, by Einstein||23|
|2.||The Periodic Table of Chemical Elements||13|
|3.||The Invention of the Sewing Machine||10|
|4.||The Model of the Atom, conceived by Physicist Neils Bohr||7|
|5.||"Yesterday", The Beatles song by Paul McCartney||5|
|6=||"The Terminator", the movie(s) and movie character||3|
|6=||The Principles of Analytical Geometry, Devised by René Descartes||3|
|8=||"Frankenstein", the novel by Mary Shelley||2|
|8=||"I Can't Get No Satisfaction", The Rolling Stones Song by Keith Richard||2|
|10=||"The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", The novella by Robert Louis Stevenson||1|
|10=||"Kuala Kahn", The poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge||1|
|10=||The Discovery of the structure of the Benzene Molecule||1|
|None of these||15|
METHODOLOGY: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,453 adults across the U.S. and UK in roughly equal numbers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 30th November 2017 - 16th January 2018. The survey was carried out online.
ABOUT CALM: Calm's mission is to make the world happier and healthier. It is best known as a meditation, sleep and mental wellness app, available in both the App Store and Google Play store. It is the #1 app for mindfulness and meditation, with 19 million downloads to date and an average of over 50,000 new users daily.
It was named by Apple as the 2017 iPhone App of the Year; by Google Play as an "Editors' Choice"; and found by a major study of 200,000 iPhone users to be "the world's happiest app" –the single app that left users feeling happiest from spending time on it.
Calm creates unique audio content that strengthens mental fitness and tackles some of the biggest mental health challenges of today: stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression. The most popular feature on Calm is a 10-minute meditation called The Daily Calm that discusses a new mindful theme and inspiring thought every morning. The app also contains Sleep Stories, meditation lessons, nature sounds, videos, music, multi-day programs and now Calm Masterclasses.
The Calm app is free to download but a paid subscription to Calm Premium gives access to over 100 hours of premium content, including an ever-growing library of advanced meditations, soothing Sleep Stories (bedtime stories for grown-ups), sleep music, calming nature scenes, a breathing tool and Calm Masterclasses.
A subscription to Calm Premium which unlocks 80+ Sleep Stories, advanced mindfulness programs, a new meditation every day, and now a new Calm Masterclass every month, costs:
• U.S. $12.99/month; $59.99/year; $299.99/lifetime.
• UK: £9.99/month; £35.99/year; £299.99/lifetime.