Has it happened to you: a restless night, spent tossing and turning, yielding good creative ideas?

In a recent podcast, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels admitted that while under the stress of having to produce a topical weekly show he found that a lack of sleep worked to his advantage. Michaels believes tiredness quietened a critical voice inside him, allowing his creative mind free play.

Many new ideas came to him in this state, he believes.

It’s a controversial recommendation but he’s not alone and the scientists , of course, have done a study or two.

One explored this issue by giving people a selection of questions at a time when they were tired and found that people answered mathematical questions better when well-rested, and creative questions better when tired.

Bearing these recent findings in mind, next time you find yourself watching the darkness, you might want to open up and see if any good ideas are rising.