Do you get ideas and thoughts at strange and inconvenient times? Then this blog is for you!
Every so often there is a night when you toss and turn and can’t get to sleep. You can’t get comfortable, it’s too hot, too cold, too noisy, too quiet and JUST PLAIN ANNOYING BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO BE UP IN 3 HOURS!
It’s highly likely that during that time your thoughts will fluctuate between:
Worst case scenarios. You imagine the absolute worst thing that can happen for even the most every day of activities – walking to work, catching a bus or train. Or perhaps…dropping your keys down the drain and being locked out of your house while the cat is stuck inside and the toaster has jammed, which is next to the newspaper you were reading….
Metaphorical wringing of hands. You go over and over a situation that has happened in the past (and therefore cannot be changed). Beating yourself up one more time over a decision, action or a comment you made.
Brilliant ideas. Aha! You write the first chapter of your novel or a brilliant blog or that email that outlines exactly what you want. You explore an idea or thought that you have had for a while. It develops and it's brilliant, a real lightning bolt of an idea.
What usually happens when you wake up is you wonder why on earth you spent so much time on these negative thoughts but can’t for the life of you remember that great idea or brilliantly crafted sentence!
So how do you put aside those unhelpful thoughts and troubles and grasp the best ones? Simple - in a notebook! And by that I mean one with pencil paper not an electronic one. Why? Because electronic notebooks end up leading to other things such as checking emails or social media. Studies have even shown that the light emitted by the LED screen may interfere with chemical the brain produces to aid sleep .
In the dimmest light you can see by, jot ideas down and tell yourself – for tomorrow. That way you are letting your brain know it’s time to put them to sleep and you can come back to them. This is important as you will want to look at them at a better time for you, then you can dismiss them or develop as you wish.
Getting back to sleep tips:
The lift. Imagine you are in a lift on the twentieth floor of a building. Get in. Push the button to go down. The lift will stop at the nineteenth floor. The doors will open. No-one will get in. The doors will close. Push the button to go down. The lift will stop at the eighteenth floor. The doors will open. And so it continues. Like any type of meditation it is possible your mind will wonder. Gently and without being annoyed with yourself, get back in the lift and carry on.
The relax from the toes upwards. (For those who are not so keen on lifts.) From your toes, work upwards and tense momentarily and then completely let go of all the tension. This forces you into relaxing and then sleeping.
The balloon. Gently blow all those thoughts you have into a balloon and imagine it inflating. Tie a knot in the balloon and then release it. Imagine it floating off into the distance. You can relax because even if the balloon pops, your ideas are safe in the notebook!
I would love to know any other ways that you deal with sleepless nights and those thoughts, welcome or unwelcome. Or indeed getting to sleep tips that work for you.
If your thoughts are keeping you awake and you would like to explore how to make the best of them – or get rid of them - do get in touch!
firstname.lastname@example.org or 07501817739