Sleepless nights: Desire or distress

I remember a time when sleepless nights were purely a sign of my own long-term emotional distress. That seems like a lifetime away, and in a sense, it was. The person I am today, and who I’m becoming is a far cry from who I was.

Sleepless nights are now a joy. Not those nights where you struggle to drift off into a much needed restorative slumber. The sleepless nights I’m describing are those that see you awaken sometime between three and five in the morning. It’s dark outside, but something in your sleep prompted you to awaken suddenly with a surprising amount of energy. As much energy and perhaps more, than if you had a full night’s sleep.

These nights tend to occur when you are on the cusp of emerging from a period of great challenge and emotional turmoil. A challenge in your relationships, career, health or finances that seems insurmountable.

And then you awaken with a burst of inspiration, energy and ideas. You’re buzzing inside and you’re not sure where it’s coming from. Maybe you grasp your phone to record an epiphany as a text message, for fear the moment of clarity and solution-focused thinking will escape you.

Or maybe you get up and clear the clutter in your home office and begin getting organised for a new approach to your almost forgotten mission.

Whatever you do, it marks a turning point in your attitude and behaviour. Unless you toss and turn and drift off into a sleep similar to the thousands before.

There are keys to maximising the benefit of these sleepless nights.

1. Record the thoughts rushing through your mind immediately. They will feel too fast to type or write, almost like they are being downloaded from somewhere else. It doesn’t matter how messy it is, you can review and refine afterwards. Just get the thoughts down.

2. Take immediate action on the ideas your thoughts form. That will be the first step toward developing momentum away from what has been dragging you down, and toward what you really desire, which may have never been clearer.

3. Create a morning and evening routine which reflects your newly clarified desire and ensure you do something for your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Energy in the morning, calm in the evening.

Remember, this moment of clarity and insight can easily fade as if you never woke up and it was just a dream.

Act.

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