Most people agree that the amount of sleep you get at night is not necessarily related to how rested you feel the following day. Being anxious about something could make it more difficult to fall asleep and make you wake up even without an alarm clock. I usually experience this when I have a flight to catch the following morning.
Sleep can be quite counterintuitive.
During this 62 days of my project I’ve slept on average 1½ hours less per night than I used to sleep before. I have set an alarm clock on about half-a-dozen times during this time period. The funny thing is that I have woken up before the alarm every time. Working long days could also have the opposite effect.
It seems I need less sleep when I’m doing things that I like to do.
Dustin Curtis has experimented with his own need of sleep in his blog entry How to Hack your Brain, Part 1: Sleep. This is quite interesting stuff. Curtis argues that one can manage with just a few quick naps during the day, provided that the naps are regular enough. If this is indeed possible, we should ask ourselves:
Why waste time sleeping if you can stay awake and do anything?
But I think this is the wrong question. I’ve always been a huge advocate of daytime naps but timing your naps sounds outright wrong. However, the opposite is quite tempting:
Forget the alarm clocks and start sleeping whenever you feel like it.
Already that would completely change the way people behave in our society. Just think of the amount of stress that would reduce.
Have you ever woken up from your sleep with a great idea in your head?
I just did. It’s 4:30 am and suddenly it was clear to me. A small detail that has been bothering me about my business idea was solved.
This solution is the final link to turn my basically good idea to an idea of a lifetime. The solution has been standing in front of my eyes the whole time but I wasn’t able to formulate it to a thought.
The human mind is a super-powerful organ. It can process huge amounts of information even in your sleep. The mind prefers to process things you’ve just experienced or are going to experience in the near future. In your sleep you always see and experience a bit more than when you are awake. The subconscious mind has all the answers if you just remember to ask.
You can’t control your dreams
Well, you can’t but you can control the inputs. Yesterday, I had a powerful discussion about my project with an old friend. It was great to see how someone genuinely shared my enthusiasm to what we do. Dedicating yourself to something will make you dream about the same things.
This works also the opposite way. If you have negative thoughts or anticipations during the day, these will end up in your dreams. Dedicating yourself to something positive is guaranteed to make your sleep better and dream about the good things in life.
What was the idea you got?
I will tell you all about it later but I’m sure it will be implemented. Or better yet, I will show you why this was important.
I should start sleeping with my list of good ideas on my bedside table. You never know when another stroke of genius is going to strike.