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How To Avoid Sleepless Nights

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

If you’re like me, then you have the occasional sleepless night. I find myself tossing and turning and I can’t stop thinking about what’s troubling me. Most of these worries are work-oriented. What can we do about it?

The problem with a sleepless night is that we tend to be worrying about something we have no immediate control over. This is why many people worry about what’s going on at work. Lay in bed – we can’t fix the problem. We can sometimes make decisions, but we can’t put them into action. It’s frustrating.

And then we’re left tired the next day, with little energy and motivation to fix the problem! And the wheel turns again…

I hate this. Don’t you?

In the past, I’ve tried drinking beer and wine until I was drunk enough not to worry about my problems. But then wake up feeling like crap. Better, I try reading until I can’t keep my eyes open. This is a healthier option, but still it can take some time to get to the point of utter tiredness, especially if the book is stimulating.

These things don’t really solve the problem.

So What Do I Do To Avoid Sleepless Nights?

It’s something I’ve learned over the years. And it’s tried and tested by many people, too.

What I do now, is this.

Before I go to bed I get a notepad and pen, and write down what worries me. Or whatever is on my mind. That’s it.

But don’t think that this is too trivial to work. It’s not magic, but it is a mind-trick.

When we write something down like this, we can ‘dump’ our worries onto the paper. Our worries are captured in ink. The very act of doing this, somehow, makes the problem drift away from our immediate conscious. I guess because we know we can pick it up, afresh, in the morning.

And you know what, a good night sleep can result in the problems being fixed, anyway. When we sleep, our brains sort and file information – it’s a sleeping problem-solver.

How many times have you gone to bed with a problem on your mind, only for it to feel easy-peasy to solve the next day? I know I have, many times.

It really does work: Ivy Lee, a management consultant back in the early 1900s went to Charles Schwab and advised the management team to write down the six things they didn’t do each day before they went to bed.

There was such a noticeable improvement in performance, Ivy was paid $35,000 USD for this single piece of advice (millions in today’s money!)

So, get your notepad and pen ready before you go to bed tonight!

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About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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