You know that feeling: it’s four o’clock in the morning and though you should be sleeping you are lying in bed coming up with the most genius ideas about your life, your work, your anything. I mean you are on fire, it’s amazing stuff. About 5:30 you finally fall asleep and when you are woken up by your alarm you have forgotten nearly all of it.
And then the next night you do it all again.
And then the next day you are way too tired to even try and remember it all, let alone think it all over again.
There are various reasons why this happens. At night you are less fettered by the limits of your conscious mind. Those self-imposed ifs and buts are quieter when you are relaxed.
Being relaxed halts the production of stress hormones like epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. These anxiety hormones block the way we process information, and cause long term damage to your health. But, you already knew that didn’t you?
What you need to do is create optimum thinking conditions during waking hours, when you can remember and write down those amazing breakthroughs. Sleeping with a note pad by your bed is all well and good, but even just rolling over and recording your thoughts is going to disrupt your precious sleep patterns. We all know how wonderful life isn’t when we have had too little sleep.
The trouble is it’s really easy to disrupt the mind. Being interrupted, treated with disrespect, or even being told what to do in words that your brain doesn’t like, can trigger the stress hormones all over again.
What you need is keep the amygdala producing the approach hormones, not triggering a fight, flight or freeze response.
(In case you hadn’t guessed, I am a massive fan of neuroscience and the way it can really help us be our best.)