Night Brain

I have self-diagnosed myself with a very serious condition.  It’s called Night Brain.  I fall to sleep easily when I crawl into bed, but I wake up anywhere between two and four hours later to a busy brain.  There are times when I can pinpoint stress, but more often than not,  it happens when I’m developing a story and the ideas seem to come in the still of the night.  Often, I can make a couple of notes in Index Card on my phone and go back to sleep, but some nights, like last night, that’s not enough.  The scene begs to be written.

I roll around telling myself I might be too groggy to write well.  That’s a lie.  I’m wide awake.

I tell myself if I get up I will be extra tired the next day.  Really?  Like tossing and turning while characters run around in all the nooks and crannies of my head is going to help me be better rested?  I am also curious if thirty minutes to and hour of writing might settle everybody down enough to get back to sleep versus being awake the rest of the night.

So, I pose this question to you: What do you do when you come down with Night Brain?

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6 thoughts on “Night Brain

  1. They say to not lay there for more than 15 minutes if you can’t sleep but to go do something that helps make you restful again. I read a book. Stay away from TV, PC screens as they make you more awake. I also like hot milk (sorry, know you can’t). Look for sleep health articles for more ideas.

  2. I have a related condition: Water Brain. Story ideas come to me in the shower. The result is dripping water all over my desk while I wrap a towel around my arm so I can take notes without smearing the ink.

  3. I’m not a writer, but I get that, too. Fantastic to know I’m not alone 🙂 I get it more when there’s a lot going on in my life, but it’s not so much stress-as-such-related as it is “lots of thoughts”- related. And I’ve never had it before, it’s only in the past year or two that it’s happened. I usually write the thoughts down in bed on my iPhone, and eventually fall back to sleep. If I don’t write them down, I’ll stay up much longer.

  4. When I am preparing for a speaking engagement my message often comes to me in the night. If I get awake enough I can usually make notes and go back to sleep. This isn’t frequent but it’s a very clear direct message I cannot ignore.

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