Does your mind race at night, keeping you awake? We’ve got a method to turn those sleepless nights into productive daytime results.
The benefits of adequate sleep are well-documented. However, much less is known about what to do when your body shuts down, but your mind won’t stop. Without getting into homeopathic remedies for sleep, here’s a method for combatting sleeplessness.
Sleepless nights can be frustrating; but, with a little intention, you can turn these wasted moments into productive outcomes. The two emotions generally driving these sleepless moments are excitement and fear. These two emotions are also highly linked to motivation in the human brain.
The next time you’re wide-awake when you don’t think you should be… your brain might just be a little more motivated than your body!
Give three steps a try the next time you’ve got a thought keeping you awake:
1. Write it down
Whatever thought, scenario, or reality is keeping you up at night is probably important enough for you to keep track of. Keep a small notebook next to your bed and use it in situations like this. Write down whatever thoughts come to mind at the time. As an entrepreneur, those “flash in the pan” moments may not seem like much but can hold tremendous potential. Every great idea started somewhere, why not in your brain in the middle of the night?
2. Check your Headspace
After you’ve written down the thoughts in your head, the next step is to examine your headspace. First, are you actually awake? If you’re groggy and still half-asleep, it’s best to return to your slumber. It’s hard to describe how to know if you’ve got an idea worth acting on, but it’s just something you’ll know at the time. If your mind is racing and you’re walking through scenarios in your head; you’re in the right mindset to act. One action step you can take here is to read a book. It can be a book that you’re currently reading or something that pertains to the idea in your head. Reading can help clarify and sort through the brain soup. Read until you’ve gotten clarity, or until you’re ready to fall back asleep!
3. Solve It
The biggest take-away from this is to not let your ideas fade away into the abyss. Thoughts that keep you up at night are thoughts worth keeping. Revisit your notebook the morning after an idea and see if there’s anything worth acting on.
Now, we aren’t saying that you need to pop out of bed every time a thought pops into your head and start working. Think of this method as stockpiling ammunition for a future battle. The one resource everyone shares the same amount of is time. The next time your mind refuses to quit, consider it an opportunity to squeeze as much life as possible out of every single minute.
Nathan Unruh, CXO, SIDECAR