Ever lain awake in the middle of the night with what seems like 1000 thoughts flying around in your head?
I’m sure you have as it’s not uncommon at all.
During the middle of last night, it happened to me, and try as I might I couldn’t stop thinking, so I couldn’t fall asleep. In my mind, it seemed like I had a million things to do.
- People to call,
- problems to solve,
- invoices to send out,
- discussions to have,
- social media posts to attend to etc.
- etc, etc, etc…
Two of the seemingly endless thoughts floating around on the carousel that is my mind were, “why is this happening, and why can’t I fall asleep?”
My personal opinion is that it comes down to “control.”
Why I say this is because, when I wake up after a mind-filled, almost sleepless night, and I action all of those “endless,” thoughts, I automatically feel better. The reason being is that I’m in control and I’m doing something physical about it. I believe that it’s the “helpless moments” in the middle of the night, that are contributing to the continued barrage of endless thoughts. I say, “helpless moments,” as what can we really do at 1 am, 2 am, 3 am, 4 am, etc. in the morning that will solve the barrage of “problems,” I’m facing.
I can’t phone clients at that hour I don’t want to switch on my laptop and face a blue screen, I can’t just wake up Helene-Marie, my partner, to chat about my concerns. There’s much I can do…
Except, there is something that I’ve found I can do, to alleviate this problem.
I get out of bed, find a notepad and pen, and I write down all those seemingly endless things that are keeping me from sleeping.
When I do this 2 things happen.
- I realise that there isn’t so much to do as my mind led me to believe – and this is because our mind is like a carousel, with similar thoughts appearing, disappearing, and then reappearing. So I end up realising that I actually only have between 3-5 “to-do’s.”
- The act of writing is the action needed to take the thought off the carousel and bring it into the physical world. This personal action is an act of being in, “control, doing something, taking action” – a list to work with during normal working hours when everyone else is awake.
Now to get back to sleep…peacefully.