When it comes to supine in­spi­ra­tion, it’s hard to beat these ten peo­ple and the ge­nius ideas that came to them in their sleep.

Reader's Digest - - Wake Up Smarter -

● Paul Mccart­ney “Yes­ter­day” ● Robert Louis Steven­son

The Strange Case of

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Dur­ing a drug-in­duced night­mare, the writer screamed so loudly that his wife, Fanny Steven­son, woke him up. Star­tled, he said, “Why did you wake me? I was dream­ing a fine bo­gey tale.” Fanny later burned

her hus­band’s first draft— she thought it was non­sense. He fever­ishly rewrote the 30,000-word tale over a three-day pe­riod. The book sold so well that it lifted the Steven­sons out of debt.

● Dmitri Men­deleev

Pe­ri­odic ta­ble of el­e­ments: “Only in one place did a cor­rec­tion later seem nec­es­sary,” Men­deleev wrote in

his di­ary of the ta­ble of el­e­ments he saw in his dream.

● Elias Howe

Sew­ing ma­chine nee­dle: Frus­trated by his at­tempts to de­velop a ma­chine that could stitch to­gether fab­ric, Howe dreamed that he was about to be ex­e­cuted for his fail­ure. The guards es­cort­ing him to the ex­e­cu­tioner’s block waved

spears—and each spear had a hole at the sharp tip. That was when Howe got the idea to pass the thread through the point of the nee­dle in­stead of the blunt end.

● Mary Shel­ley Franken­stein ● Jack Nick­laus

Per­fect swing: Dur­ing a slump, Nick­laus dreamed that he was own­ing the links in a way he hadn’t been for some time in real life. Af­ter an­a­lyz­ing the dream, the six-time Masters champ re­al­ized he was grip­ping the club dif­fer­ently in the dream from how he nor­mally did. “I tried it the way I did in my dream, and it worked,” he said. “I feel kind of fool­ish ad­mit­ting it.”

● Samuel Tay­lor Co­leridge “Kubla Khan” ● Keith Richards

“(I Can’t Get No) Sat­is­fac­tion”: Here’s how he de­scribed the his­to­ry­mak­ing mo­ment to NPR: “I go to bed as usual with my gui­tar, and I wake up the next morn­ing, and I see that the tape [in his cas­sette tape recorder] is run to the very end. And I think, Well, I didn’t do any­thing. Maybe I hit a but­ton when I was asleep. So I put it back to the begin­ning and pushed play, and there, in some sort of ghostly ver­sion, [were the open­ing lines to “Sat­is­fac­tion”]. It was a whole verse of it. Af­ter that, there’s 40 min­utes of me snor­ing.”

● Stephe­nie Meyer Twi­light ● René Descartes

An­a­lyt­i­cal ge­om­e­try

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