Our introvert brains are so active, aren’t they, processing things, mulling over them, daydreaming…sometimes our thoughts seem to take on a life of their own and keep us awake! Some introverts find it hard to drop off to sleep in the first place because of all the thoughts racing through our brains, or others sleep for a while then wake up in the wee hours and find ourselves actively thinking of one thing after another, until we realize we are fully awake and have been for some time. The latter is usually what happens to me. I’m usually sleepy enough to drop off to sleep, if I’m at home, but then I may wake at 2 or 3 am with a busy brain that is really working on whatever situations I currently have – even some my conscious mind may have tried to ignore. I got a question from someone this week about this tendency that a lot of us have. The reader wondered how I handle it when I can’t sleep due to thinking too much during the night.
What I’ve done, and I’ve done it for about 20 years now, is to daydream about something pleasant but totally not to do with real life. In other words, if I wake up at 2 am, first if my mind has uncovered something that needs to be addressed later, I will tell myself I will look into that tomorrow. It is “duly noted” by my conscious mind now, but I can’t fix it in the middle of the night so I am going back to sleep. I’ll get into a really comfortable position and deliberately start a daydream about a situation that can not happen. If I were to start daydreaming about a pleasant time with a family member or real friend, next thing you know my mind would start thinking again – “Oh I need to make him a dentist appointment,” or “Why did she say that to me last week?” So instead, I’ll pick an actor or an author or some other person that I could imagine I would enjoy a cup of coffee with, and in my daydream we will have a cup of coffee. I ask them a question, I listen to their answer. This is usually a quick success for me – I never make it past the first little bit of this before I’m asleep again. Other times I might be reading a really good book that week that I hate to put down, so I will think about it a little bit if I wake up in the night. My main point here is to dive deeply into fiction, whether you create it or you think about a book or movie you like. Do not think about world events, your checkbook, or even the sweetest real moment in your life, because your introvert brain will jump right on that and before you know it your body will start really waking up. 🙂
One thing I must admit is that lately when someone has requested something of me that makes me feel as if they’re taking advantage of me, I wake up and apparently my adrenaline really gets going, because no amount of daydreaming will get me back to sleep. Otherwise, try to derail those active thoughts by doing something we do so well: daydreaming! That’s my favorite way to get back to sleep. Do you have another one to share?
Photo credit: Sister72