Why is it that some of our best ideas or thoughts seem to happen either just as we are about to fall asleep, or in a state of semiconsciousness in the middle of the night? Well, the answer is really quite logical.
Through the day, our brains are working on overdrive, constantly being bombarded with thousands of signals to sort and process. Once our thoughts are processed, then we determine which require consideration or action. Did you remember to feed the cat? What bills are due today? Am I hungry? And countless other necessary thoughts that are required for us to successfully survive each and every day.
Later in the day, when our body becomes physically tired, our brain seems to take slightly longer to settle down. In fact, some people have a very hard time “turning their brain off” at bedtime, which can result in a poor nights sleep, and even insomnia.
Personally, I can’t count the times that I have either been semiconscious, about to fall asleep, or have woken to attend to one of our children, and have had what seems like an exceptional thought. This is usually what seems to be a solution to a problem or something that I tell myself repeatedly, requires some form of action the following day. At the time, it seems there is zero chance of forgetting such an important thought it in the morning, right?
D’ho! Alas, as I visit the bathroom after waking up, I find myself looking in the mirror, racking my brain for the elusive missing thought. I then ask myself how I could POSSIBLY forget something so PHENOMENAL and obviously VALUABLE? A thought that just hours ago, was at the very forefront of my cranium, overshadowing all other thoughts at the time. Yet that’s exactly what has happened many times over, and I’m guessing has happened to you as well.
In an effort to never let another important thought slip past me, my initial reaction was to leave my trusty smart phone on my nightstand, ready to hold my thoughts as they flow out. My wife quickly helped me realize that, not only are there some situations when technology doesn’t prevail, but this is in fact one of them.
In order to input something into a smartphone, you must first turn on or wake up the smart phone. This usually results in a buzz or beep, followed by a bright led light coming from the smartphone screen. All of which, can be very disruptive to anyone else sleeping nearby, and can be avoided with a pen and piece of paper on the nightstand.
It is surprisingly easy to scribble a word or sentence on a piece of paper, even in the pitch darkness of night, without creating a disturbance. Then, when you wake in the morning, review your notes and determine which ones are important enough to then be entered into a smartphone or computer’s schedule.
If you are truly addicted to your smart phone and just can’t bear the thought of resorting to an actual pen and paper, here are a few simple tips. Leave your phone on mute, dim the screen brightness, and to be extra courteous to your partner when inputting your notes, pull a blanket over your head. With a little practise, you can perfect a stealthy technique of recording your thoughts at night without disrupting those around you.
Here’s hoping that this very simple tip will help prevent you from losing another valuable thought at night.