The Upside Of Insomnia

by Zeus66
34 replies
For the first time in my life, I've been suffering from a serious case of insomnia the last month or so. Overall, it sucks, as anyone who has gone through a bout of this will tell you. But, as an online marketer always looking for new twists on things, I have to tell you that I've come up with 2 really great ideas in the past month from all this laying in bed for hours on end, staring at the ceiling. That's the thing about insomnia. It's not that you aren't tired. You are. You just cannot get to sleep, and if you do it doesn't last long. The point is, I'm not sitting here in work mode at my computer. I'm away from all of this and alone with my thoughts. And it's causing some serious 'Eureka!' moments.

I decided to post this here not as an homage to insomnia, but as a recommendation to step back from your work and spend some time alone letting your mind wheel around a bit. You might be surprised at what you come up with out of the blue. I think my insomnia might add several thousand dollars to my bottom line this year. Hey, if all it costs me is some lost sleep, I'll take it!
#insomnia #upside
  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    Too true!

    I can relate to this, many of my most inspired ideas come when I'm struggling to sleep.

    I think it's best to just roll with it, take note or even start working there and then.
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    • Profile picture of the author Denise Oyston
      I am a great believer that someone is trying to tell me something!!........just like louise says it is often a sign to take note and listen as new ideas are about to land!!
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    • Profile picture of the author wolverine1971
      Lifetime insomnia here - my brain doesn't function as well for thinking and creating so I use those late hours to do my manual submissions.

      You have discovered that your circadian rhythm for creativity and new ideas thrives late at night. This is a good thing and can be used to manage certain types of activities so that you do them when you are most productive.

      Although several days in a row of insomnia and that type of brain activity can be hindered and the functioning will start to suffer because sleep deprivation is cumulative.

      Final tip - avoid 5 days straight of not sleeping as mass hallucinations will set in.

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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Yep, you're right Louise & Denise. We're all so busy all the time that I think we've lost the ability to woolgather. This insomnia has more or less forced me to spend a few hours I normally wouldn't have available to ruminate. Navel gaze, if you will. Proof is in the pudding, I suppose. I'm pretty sure neither of these 2 new ideas would have occurred to me without this sleep problem. Makes me wonder how many more I could come up with if I carved out an hour every day to just sit and ponder in freeform style. Something to consider for sure.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author EndGame
    I find that taking time out to go for a walk, cycle, run or trip to the gym really helps clear my head and crystalize my thinking.

    I find I come up with a lot of ideas when driving on long journeys in the car as well. It's excellent to get away from the work, and some times, I am so grateful to get away from it.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarryMSayer
    Hey John,

    I always have a digital dictaphone handy for these very moments. Although my wife does sometimes complain that when I can't sleep I pay more attention to that than...oh never mind!!!

    Garry.
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    • Profile picture of the author Liam Hamer
      At least 2 or 3 nights a week, I have trouble getting to sleep and it's usually because I can't seem to switch my mind off - and the majority of what I think about is of course IM Compare this to some mornings where I struggle to get moving. If I didn't have a wife and kid, I'd probably work some really strange hours but as it is I stay close to their routine/schedule so I can spend lots of time with them
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    • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
      Originally Posted by GarryMSayer View Post

      Hey John,

      I always have a digital dictaphone handy for these very moments. Although my wife does sometimes complain that when I can't sleep I pay more attention to that than...oh never mind!!!

      Garry.
      Hey Garry,

      What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I used to keep a small pocket spiral notebook by my bed for ideas, but I got away from that habit a few years ago. The small recorder is even better! I'm off to Office Depot today.

      John
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  • Profile picture of the author GarryMSayer
    Hey John,

    I bought mine on ebay.co.uk. It wasn't from one of the big brands, just a simple digital dictaphone with 'ambiguous' instructions but it's easy to operate, works a treat and only cost me about £25 ($40).

    It's pretty much a constant companion, even when me and the wife go walking and shopping, so every snippet of inspiration, no matter how obscure and ill-conceived at the time, is permanently recorded.

    Cheers.

    Garry.
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    • Profile picture of the author rapidscc
      Originally Posted by DogScout View Post

      I suppose watching General Hospital doesn't count.
      LOL..Yeah John..You should also have enough time to rest.

      As for me, whenever I find myself confused and just spinning my wheels,
      I sit and meditate (Zen).

      Usually, after 30 minutes of dropping the mind
      and just focusing on my breath, I'll find myself focused again,
      and ready to generate ideas.

      What you've done is basically like meditation, though I think you
      mentioned you were lying down..

      One of the reasons why the ideas came was because you're
      cup was "empty". Some say you can't fill a cup that's full
      already..So an occasional "emptying" of the cup can do us
      good.

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  • Profile picture of the author sandra.IMqueen
    Although you learnt the lesson the hard way. You've learnt the importance of down time.

    When you spend a lot of time putting stuff into your brain you have got to give it time and space to work it's magic and come up with amazing ideas.

    So remember when your head feels full take a break.

    For those of you who are familiar with the entrepreneur Richard Branson he says " the most important time of day for me is my thinking time". That's when you will find Richard laying in a hammock allowing his brain to process his multi million pound ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author tritrain
    Now that's a 'glass half full' attitude! I often have my best epiphanies when awake due to insomnia.

    I just wish I didn't have to wake up to go to work in a few hours...
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  • Profile picture of the author karlhadwen
    Some day's I've laid in bed till like 7am and then fallen to sleep, other day's I've woke up at like 9PM, I personally just think my sleeping pattern is messed up but I get days where I just cannot sleep and don't want to sleep it's weird :/ - I was thinking about getting some sleeping tablets.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Henderson
    Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

    But, as an online marketer always looking for new twists on things, I have to tell you that I've come up with 2 really great ideas in the past month from all this laying in bed for hours on end, staring at the ceiling.
    You've clearly made the best of a bad situation, John. But there's a downside: now you can't boast to your friends that you "make money while you sleep"... :rolleyes:

    And the dictaphone is a great idea. It's said that we speak seven times faster than we write, so that's quite a productivity increase!
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Dailly
      John,

      I think your idea for the dictaphone is perfect. It could lead to whole new range of IM products being developed like ; An Insomniacs Guide to Internet Marketing or Make Money While You Sleep, I Can't So I'll show You how to Make Money while I'm Awake.
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      • Profile picture of the author GarryMSayer
        Originally Posted by daillyprofits View Post

        John,

        I think your idea for the dictaphone is perfect. It could lead to whole new range of IM products being developed like ; An Insomniacs Guide to Internet Marketing or Make Money While You Sleep, I Can't So I'll show You how to Make Money while I'm Awake.
        Hey You!

        It was my *&%$?/* idea for the dictaphone.

        Jeez! Credit where credit is due.

        All the best.

        Garry.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve Dailly
          LOL! Ok I would like to state that the dictaphone was Garry's idea originally.
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          • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
            Zeus, I'm an old fart so I remember the old Twilight Zone. One of the intros went something like:

            You're travelling through another dimension--a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. It's a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. There's a sign-post up ahead--next stop: The Twilight Zone.

            I'm not suggesting we need to find a Twilight-like zone to be creative in, but I do think that sometimes, just before we sleep there in sort of a conscious limbo-land where, maybe as our brains shut down the fears, anxieties, and frustrations of daily living and our creative juices can roam a little more freely.

            Like others have said, having a little notebook by one's bed can be a handy tool--we often forget by morning the thoughts we had. There is something about thinking in the quite of the late-night hours without the phone ringing, without the traffic noises, and without all of the other distractions--that somehow makes it easier to concentrate on more creative things.

            Zeus, if it works--and if you find that "wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination" then go with it!
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          • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
            Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

            Hey Garry,

            What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I used to keep a small pocket spiral notebook by my bed for ideas, but I got away from that habit a few years ago. The small recorder is even better! I'm off to Office Depot today.

            John
            John, I was just looking at these at Walmart a couple days ago. They have one for just under $30, and if I remember correctly, it is voice activated, holds 2 gigs of data, and comes with a USB cable to upload the recordings to your computer.

            They had others too. Don't know the quality of the recordings, but if you're just making notes for yourself it doesn't have to be the best recorder on the planet. I didn't get it because I only had about $40 with me and I was there to pick up something else. I'll be going back for it though.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
              Can't stop thinking about me, can you. Or is that too many oreos keeping you awake?

              I have been amazed for the last 2 months. My sleep has been horrid, and I'll log in here to find I'm not alone - shockingly others here in the US are on as well at 3,4,5 am.
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              • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
                Originally Posted by avenuegirl View Post

                Can't stop thinking about me, can you. Or is that too many oreos keeping you awake?
                Why does it have to be one or the other? Maybe what's keeping me up all night involves a combination of you and Oreos. Didn't think of that, did ya?

                John <--- trying to be good
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                • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
                  Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

                  John <--- trying to be good
                  Um...yeah right

                  John I am one of those that have had to deal with this my entire life.

                  Was one of those kids that would pull the covers up with a flashlight and read all night. I especially loved Encyclopedias which gave me the ability to escape to other lands and see their cool flags too.

                  Now with the Internet, not only can I read about it I can see it and even meet people from other countries.

                  Like Texas:p

                  Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
    A couple times a year I go to a nearby hotel for a few days. The first day or two I just unwind and don't think about anything in particular. Relax, re-energize... all that good stuff. Being away from "work" (home) gives me the chance to truly relax.

    When I'm recharged and feeling good, then I start brainstorming, thinking about ideas and how to implement them, etc.

    Usually by the time I get home I'm rarin' to go. Not only am I full of energy, but I have good ideas and a fresh perspective.

    Cheers,
    Becky
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  • Profile picture of the author Oxbloom
    I always have my most far out ideas when sleep deprived, but they are rarely my best, or even fully sane.



    Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010, 01:44 AM,

    Note to self: Investigate possibility of harnessing nonverbal communication networks of sentient trees as workaround for times wireless network is down.

    Note to self: Check viability of keywords surrounding Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories. Need product, but have awesome idea for sales letter.

    Note to self: Idea for untapped market -- underpants for squirrels.




    At 2pm on a Wednesday, I'm a lot less colorful, but far more likely to actually come up with or do something productive.
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    • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
      Originally Posted by Oxbloom View Post

      Note to self: Idea for untapped market -- underpants for squirrels.[/I]
      Never, EVER post your ideas on a public forum (especially if you haven't yet started pursuing the idea). People will swipe them and hit the market before you.



      Cheers,
      Becky
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      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

        Never, EVER post your ideas on a public forum (especially if you haven't yet started pursuing the idea). People will swipe them and hit the market before you.



        Cheers,
        Becky
        In other words, Becky is busy outsourcing squirrel clothing as we write. First the underwear, then squirrel-kinis, then...
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I've been an insomniac all my life. My mother was also. I've learned to live with it. At times it really bugged me, but I've adapted. I average 4 hrs sleep per day and that's not usually all in one stretch.

    I get up numerous times in the middle of the night to do something that I've been laying there thinking of and often I get some of my best thoughts while laying down trying to get some sleep.

    Also get a lot of reading done in the middle of the night.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    It's funny how some of your best ideas come to you when you're not working/striving at it. I guess once you give that directive to your subconscious it just works away diligently in the background, and comes up with really great solutions and ideas at the most unexpected of times, and it could be when you're exercising, trying to sleep, showering, shopping, etc. I tend to get a lot of my ideas during the time either when I'm dreaming, or that transitionary period between light sleep and full wakefulness during the waking up process.
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  • Profile picture of the author R.Rapp
    I completely agree. I too suffer from insomnia - off and on, and when I am having trouble sleeping I come up with (what I think) are excellent ideas! Then the problem is that I am not the organized type of person that keeps a notepad or dictaphone handy and I think - "oh well, this is such a great idea, I will remember it" but of course, half of those go poof. I would definitely recommend keeping a way to track these thoughts next to your bed, I myself need to start.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    My ISP (interrupted sleeping pattern) helped get a lot of work done at one point. Really handy to have the computer in the bedroom. Some nights when I would wake up thinking about a page I wanted to put up, I would make a full pot of coffee, snap the lid off the pot and start drinking it from there, and get to work.

    That saves getting a cup dirty and I've never heard anyone attack efficiency. I am exaggerating but it did help get a lot of work done.
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  • Profile picture of the author webcontentservices.ll
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    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by webcontentservices.ll View Post

      Hi,

      All of us have insomnia for probably only one reason and that is making money ONLINE and this has become part of our life now programmed in its own sweet killing way..

      I am glad to inform people about something which has incredibly helped me in earning decent income and stabilize my own otherwise shaking belief in online marketing and making money online. When I got the first payment in paypal, I was shocked, excited and estatic or whatever you call that feeling when you have got what you have been trying to get for more than a year. I have got it and if you don't believe it - just watch over at


      I will guide you through the whole process and you can add me in chat if you want and I will be with you till you are confident to be on your own.

      Thank you and wish you all the success,

      Nick

      Thanks so much for dropping by and contributing to this conversation in such a meaningful, yet somewhat spammy way.

      SPAM
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  • Profile picture of the author writerhere
    It had also happened to me. Generally when you are unwell or so. But what I do is to keep surfing the net. Its so great that you could find some usefu; idea just becoz of your insomnia. cheers
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