The Health Benefits of Doodling

Janus © Sue O’Kieffe 2010

The name, given to the month of ‘January’, is derived from the ancient Roman name ‘Janus’ who presided over the gate to the new year. He was revered as the ‘God of Gateways’, ‘of Doorways’ and ‘of the Journey’, later known as ‘St. Januarius’. Janus protected the ‘Gate of Heaven’, known as the ‘Lord of Beginnings’, is associated with the ‘Goddess Juno-Janus’, and often symbolised by an image of a face that looks forwards and backwards at the same time. This symbolism can easily be associated with the month known as for many the start of a new year bodes opportunity, casting out the old and in with the new. It is the time when many reflect on events of the previous year and often resolve to redress or improve some aspect of daily life or personal philosophy. ~mystical world wide web

I have a doodle ritual. Every night before I go to bed, I take sharpie to paper for an hour or so. I unwind. I don’t eat after 8 pm. I sleep like a baby.  I have great dreams.

Having just begun a new health regimen of more nutritious eating and exercising on a daily basis, I am happy to realize doodling helps me maintain my goals of no late night munching and eight hours of sleep per night.

Dr. Oz would be so proud!

What personal benefits do you derive from your doodle love?


10 thoughts on “The Health Benefits of Doodling

  1. I really like your idea of doodling in the evening before bed time. I am exercising every day and eating sensibly, but am still guilty of snacking a bit in the evening.

    I may have to try your regimen and see if it doesn’t help me.

    Love the doodle, by the way!


  2. That doodle is amazing! Just love it. I agree with Sylvia that doodling is meditation. It helps settle and focus the mind – and clears out all the stuff rattling around in there. So doing it before bed must be perfect for setting up a good night’s sleep and dreams.

    I’m impressed that you can go straight to the sharpie. I still need to start out with a pencil so I can erase. I need to live more dangerously!

  3. Sue, I cannot say enough good things about drawing + doodling. Drawing can be whatever you want it to be. It can provide relaxation, analytical challenge, calming influence, and of course, FUN!

  4. You have such interesting doodles! I always enjoy your colorful ones, but when they are black and white like this one I can really see the different and integrative varieties! I think my “doodle love” is really helping me to learn more about color and keeping a steady hand and……so much more!

  5. Hi Sue, what a great idea to doodle before bedtime to calm your mind and relax. I usually knit in the evenings as a way to unwind from the day. Something simple and repetitive, too complex a pattern and my mind starts to crank up. Between my hands being occupied with the sticks and sipping a cup of herbal tea, it helps me to stay away from the late night snacks. I’d like to try doodling like this. Perhaps to some soothing music.

  6. I love looking through this site! Your doodles are wonderful.

    I am excited to learn more about the benefits of doodling as I’ve just released a product for doodling on the fridge ( and am looking for more info like this to add to my site.

    I really like your method of doodling before bed. Think I’ll try that tonight! Thanks again!

    • What a fun idea your fridge art is. Do you remember the magnetic words that were so popular a few years back? This is sort of like that, only more colorful! Thanks for stopping by.

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