I get my best ideas at bedtime

It’s rather annoying, actually.

On an average evening, I have a bit of time after dinner, when Little Boy is in bed and tomorrow’s lunches have been made and baby bottles washed.  But I’m tired.  My brain is tired.  It doesn’t want to write, or read interesting things to get ideas.  It wants me to veg on the couch and read mindless Facebook shares and watch TV.  Which is totally understandable after a long day of parenting and research and more research and more parenting.

However, when I start getting ready for bed – taking a shower, brushing my teeth – my brain wakes back up again.  Suddenly, it’s composing my next three blog posts.  And not just a hey, you should write about that sometime; there are whole sentences and paragraphs just running around in my head.

If I were back in college, unencumbered by normal work hours or the needs of a tiny human, I might choose to run with it.  Sit down at my computer for an hour and let the words flow.  But I’m not a college kid any more, I’m a mom who has to get up in the morning and needs a lot of sleep to function, so I have to go to bed.

Fortunately, the free-flowing sentences don’t usually prevent me from falling asleep.  In fact, they’re can be somewhat meditative.  Unfortunately, some of them are lost by the time I wake up in the morning.  I should start keeping a little notebook and pen by my bed to jot down some key points, but unless I take the time to write down everything, something’s going to be forgotten.

When do you find your best ideas brewing?

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9 thoughts on “I get my best ideas at bedtime

  1. I keep a notepad by my bed because I tend to have my best ideas right before I go to sleep and right when I wake up. Actually, I recently figured out that I’ve been writing on the notepad while still asleep…which is cool, but also terrifying.

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    • Wow, how did you figure that out? And is your sleep-writing coherent? For part of college, I was taking a medication that made me really drowsy, and as a consequence, I fell asleep in class all the time. I would try to continue taking notes while I was nodding off, and it was always hilarious to see the random, half-formed words that my sleep brain thought it was hearing.

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      • Well, my handwriting is always…a challenge to read, so when I saw random scribbles in my notepad, I just figured I had jotted down some notes and forgotten about it. However, a few weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with my hand on a pen and the page half-filled with nigh indecipherable notes.

        They were some pretty good ideas, though. At least sleep me is productive?

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  2. I find that there’s no rhyme or reason to when I get my ideas. I’m a bit of a daydreamer, so I’ll be doing something and it sparks a thought, which sparks another one, and boom, I’m suddenly “writing” it in my head.

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  3. How right you are, gradmama. I have very flexible hours so I get inspired in the bed most times also; that’s understandable, however, since that is when I turn off the stuff that makes static. Then the brain functions but the body doesn’t! I guess that’s part of what Jesus referred to when he said “the spirit is willing but the body is weak.” He was talking about praying instead of writing, but they both take some giving of oneself – body and spirit. Hang in, take care of Little One and give us some of your overflow time.

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  4. I recently bought a SmashBook (the kits are on sale at Michael’s for like $12) and it came with a tiny book that I keep in my purse. It’s great for random ideas, snippets or little things. It’s also nice because it’s pretty free-flow when it comes to where to jot down ideas.

    I know what you’re talking about – with the ideas and how they get lost. It’s maddening!

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      • Haha! No joke. I’m the same way. And similarly with notebooks, if it’s not “perfect” or a certain way, it drives me nuts. SmashBook has offered me so much freedom, as silly as that is.

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  5. I think it’s so valuable to get such an inspiration that you ought to write it down in notes before you go to bed. It is possible to recover everything later even when just put down in telegraph style. I get my inspiration during the night and early in the mornings. I just wrote about it the other day: (Chopin Liszt )

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