Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
—Edgar Allan Poe
I’ve heard it said that daydreaming is the brain’s default state because real thinking burns energy and can be exhausting. Some people believe that daydreaming is a waste of time, but to me (and to many other writers and artists), daydreaming is like leaving your mind open for new ideas. (And that reminds me of a quote from the movie Bridge to Terabithia: “Keep your eyes closed and your mind wide open.”)
I think that’s part of the reason why a lot of people tend to remember things they’ve forgotten during the day right before they fall asleep at night. The brain is winding down and becoming more relaxed, and there is a greater flow of thoughts and images and memories and weird pieces of dreams. Then all of a sudden, you’re jolted awake by the realization that you completely forgot to send that email at work or you didn’t take the chicken out of the freezer to defrost. Or, in those pre-sleep daydreaming states, you can come up with great story ideas. The only problem is that they don’t come with as forceful a jolt as real-life matters, and they fade away much more quickly.
So the trick is to simulate that open-minded dreaming state during the day in order to be more inspired and more aware. Meditation, prayer, yoga… all of those and more can help you to relax and ease your brain into its default mode and perhaps even a deeper creative state.