Sherlock Holmes’ trick to be smarter by neurologist
Sherlock Holmes was not just any detective. In the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes is a master of disguise, has an unrivaled capacity for deduction, and manages to find the most creative answers to problems others cannot solve.
Sherlock Holmes is also a violin virtuoso and a brilliant man who can use a simple accent, a creak of shoes or a little dust at the scene of the crime to find the murderer (or any criminal) in order to solve the crime.
But is it only because of the way Conan Doyle wrote it? Apparently, Sherlock Holmes’ secret to being brilliant and keeping his creativity active lies in his habits of sleep. At least that’s what a neurologist thinks, who has found an important clue in detective novels.
In Sherlock Holmes novels (which are based on a real character) bedtime is very important to him and it is something that is mentioned several times. He always tries to get at least 8 hours of sleep. In the history of The Missing Three-Quarters, Sherlock Holmes even said to Watson: “Go to bed early tonight, Watson, for I foresee that tomorrow may be a busy day.”
Sherlock Holmes goes to bed at 10 p.m. and at 6.30 the next morning he’s already at work and it has to do with real practice that can help people be more creative, more alert and perform better throughout. of the day, since sleep deprivation can affect everything from the ability to pay attention to sexual desire.
“It is only in an extreme situation, when Sherlock Holmes is faced with a case that needs to be resolved or like the author at the end of one of his books, that the two go without sleep. They lock themselves up for days when they barely eat or sleep and when they are done they are exhausted. They need weeks of total rest to recover, ”explains neurologist Àlex Iranzo. “But recovery is possible when it is an exception: on the other hand, the constant is 8 or 9 hours.”
The neurologist says in an article published in the Lancet Neurology that after studying Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels on Holmes and a series of documents on the writer and his children (available at the British Library in London), he discovered that the chronic insomnia that Kafka suffered from had a strong impact on his work.
“For Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle, regular enough sleep is key, ‘the best training before battle,’ as he points out in other non-Holmesian works. Even an extraordinary mind cannot function by depriving itself of sleep. And this is unfortunately a phenomenon on the rise for 50 years. In 1985, 23% of the American population aged 45 to 65 slept less than 7 hours a day. In 2004, it was 33%. And 15% sleep less than 6 hours. A lot of creativity and health are lost ”, warns the neurologist.
Was Conan Doyle right? It seems so. According to the neurologist, sleeping less than 7 hours implies a decrease in concentration, memory and attention, produces apathy, fatigue and even a decrease in sexual desire, in addition to many other health problems. which can be dangerous in the long term. In the case of Sherlock Holmes, breaking his sleeping habits and getting up early always leaves him exhausted, crankier, and even a little disoriented.
Iranzo explains that if you usually get enough sleep, it is possible that a sleepless night will not affect you too much, but he assures that afterwards “you find yourself lying, exhausted, wrecked physically and mentally. Conan Doyle’s biographies reflect this: after each episode of frenetic activity without sleep, he would go two weeks without being able to move and on rest treatment ”.
Want to be smarter, more creative, and still perform well? You should do like Sherlock Holmes and make sleep a priority.