Day 339 of the Calendar Year

“I could not sleep at all last night, you were on my mind.” Have you ever had one of those nights where you just could not get to sleep because you were stuck on a thought? Perhaps it was a problem with a loved one or a problem at work. But you tossed and turned all night and finally threw in the towel and got up. Maybe you decided to read, or watch TV or just go out for an early breakfast. My, how time passes when we are stuck on a thought or how it does not pass! The night just seems to drag on and on. You want to go back to sleep but you can’t turn your brain off and laying in bed musing over the problem does not solve it. Your mind goes round and round in circles promoting one unsatisfactory theory after another. What if I had done this, or what if this had happened or what if I could do this? You are stuck on a Ferris wheel of thinking and as your mind turns the minutes seem to tick by. One minute for every idea or “what could have been” or what you should have done. Sleep is a time for the mind to rest, but sometimes when we are stuck on a thought the mind will not allow us to go to sleep and the clock will not cooperate either. No matter how tired we are or how badly we want to go to sleep, we cannot seem to turn our thoughts off.

Are there solutions for this problem? Sometimes I count sheep and this actually works sometimes. But for the most part, if I am really stuck on a thought, the only thing that seems to provide a remedy is to get up and do something. To admit that the night is over and I need to be in motion and not in bed. I may go for an early run, do homework, dishes, write, or catch up on emails, anything that will get my mind working somewhere else. Surprisingly, once I start some other activity, I no longer feel tired and I begin to feel energized. Lying in bed mulling over my problem is never very satisfactory and the time just seems to creep by. It is not time well spent until I finally decide to spend it differently. Sleep is a time for reenergizing unless we are stuck on a thought.

When was the last time you were stuck on a thought? What did you do about it? What helps you the most when you just can’t get to sleep and the thoughts keep rolling around in your head?

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