One of the worst things is having one of those sleepless nights. It’s one of those nights that you can’t afford to be staying up late and killing time watching some tube and just sleeping in the next morning. You know full well that you should be catching some decent Z’s. You have to be up in the morning, you should be well rested and try to avoid at all costs having those heavy eyelids during your long day.
Naturally when you’re having trouble sleeping this dilemma adds even more pressure in your head while your laying there staring at the ceiling. You try to avoid looking at the time, since each time you roll over and take a peak at the clock minutes seem to whiz by.
So you’re stuck laying there hoping that sleep will finally attack you. A lot of people go for their favorite over-the-counter sleeping pills to help themselves fall asleep. I’m not a big fan of taking pills, I try to fall asleep the old fashioned way without any medicinal assistance.
The other night I was in this situation. Instead of counting sheep, my mind always seems to wander when I’m in this predicament. It’s actually somewhat of a valuable opportunity to be able to have no distractions, you’re completely alone and you can just let yourself think.
Typically we’re all so preoccupied during our daily lives that we get few chances to actually sit, be quiet and think. So at least without wearing earphones, a TV going on in the background or fiddling with your iphone you’re left alone with your thoughts.
This might not be such an encouraging perspective when you’re laying there panicked hoping to sleep, but at least it’s something.
So I just let my mind go about its business. Whatever topic that comes into my head I ponder, analyze, scrutinize and let myself get swept away into the next topic it leads me to. I go from thinking about the most important topics to the most mundane.
I let this go on for awhile. I’m not sure how long I’ll do this (I try to never look at the clock). Then I’ll realize my mind took me to thinking about something so ridiculous and unexpected I start to wonder “how on earth did I get to thinking about lawn furniture?”
Now the real fun begins. Here’s where I start backtracking my minds thought process and try to reconnect the dots. My mind seems to drift to such a wide range of diverse topics it’s fascinating to try to see the roadmap I was led down and discover what topic led into the next and how I finally landed at, in this case thinking about lawn furniture at three o’clock in the morning. It’s usually a pretty unusual ride.
Next time you’re having trouble sleeping you should try this little diversion. With any luck you’ll find this exercise so exhausting you’ll fall asleep in no time.