Ever Wake Up At Night With a Brilliant Idea?

37 replies
This has happened 3 nights in a row for me. Just wake up in the middle of the night. This morning I got out of bed and ran over to a notebook lol. Think I woke up everyone at the house.
1 for SI, 1 for goal setting, & 1 I don't remember

Any helpful hints on getting these ideas down before they're gone forever?

Should I just keep a notebook by my side and write it down when I wake up? Seems like it would be hard to wake up to write things down then be able go back to sleep(I really value this. 8 hr nights are what keeps my days rolling) but it's the best Idea I have so far..... Brain Storm???

Thanks,
Aaryn
#brilliant #idea #night #wake
  • Profile picture of the author Trey Walter
    Hi Aaryn,

    although I usually get the best ideas in the morning after getting out of bed, I sometimes get ideas in the middle of the night as well.

    What I do to remember those ideas is:
    I always keep some piece of paper laying at my bedstand. So when I get an idea in the middle of the night I swith on the bedside lamp, write down the idea and then go to sleep again.

    I fall asleep rather fast so I'm not missing a lot of sleep using this method. (5-10 minutes at most)

    Trey
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  • Profile picture of the author AwesomePossum
    Great, Thanks Trey. I was really worried about the sleeping part, thanks for clearing that up. I think that's about how long it takes to get back to sleep when I'm slumbering anyways (can't know for sure though lol)
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    • Profile picture of the author Trey Walter
      Originally Posted by AwesomePossum View Post

      Great, Thanks Trey. I was really worried about the sleeping part, thanks for clearing that up. I think that's about how long it takes to get back to sleep when I'm slumbering anyways (can't know for sure though lol)
      Yeah, it probably differs from person to person, but usually you're still very drowsy after the whole process of writing down your thoughts.

      So you should give it a try and see if it works for you.

      By the way: Of course you could also use a voice recorder instead of a piece of paper.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketingGuru123
    You should not only keep a notebook by bedside but also try to shift your computer in your bedroom it, so that if you have problem in sleeping back you can start working, right at the moment
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    • Profile picture of the author Spider2
      I found keeping a pad and pen on my nightstand to be a great cure. I used to get lots of ideas in the middle of the night, so I placed a pad and pen at the ready

      .... and I haven't had a single idea in the night since!''
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    • Profile picture of the author sandra.IMqueen
      when great thoughts wake you in the middle of the night you have to record them; pen & paper, voice recorder whatever works for you. What i have discovered is that if I don't record them, they keep going round and round in my head and I cannot get back to sleep.

      In my experience its as if the act of recording them gives your brain space to process them and you can fall back to sleep with ease.

      These moments of genius are not to be lost.
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      • Profile picture of the author webwriter
        I can't tell you how many great ideas that were lost because I did not keep a pen and pad on my nightstand. At the time these ideas occurred to me, I foolishly believed that they were so simple and so obvious that I would surely remember them in the morning.

        Needless to say, I didn't.

        I know much better now.
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      • Profile picture of the author DejanM
        Originally Posted by sandra.IMqueen View Post

        In my experience its as if the act of recording them gives your brain space to process them and you can fall back to sleep with ease.
        This is one of the main lessons of Getting Things Done - emptying your brain "RAM" so you can concentrate on other things/sleep.

        I've been intensely developing a web application the last few weeks and I wrote every single idea that came on my mind on a piece of paper and throw it on my desk. Then once a week I'd review it and input it into my computer if it was good. Otherwise thrash it.

        Works great. My mind is now always empty.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron H
    usually use my mobile as an alarm clock so I record the idea onto that via a quick text or voice memo then attach an alarm to it for while I'm having breakfast so then I don't forget about it.

    The important part is typing up all the notes regarding that idea into OneNote so I can add more at a later date if needed and then I put a postit with a short description on a board above my desk.

    Totally agree with Sandra about decluttering your brain from random ideas and putting them down on paper not only because it'll help you sleep but I found it helps you focus on the project you're actually working on at the time rather than daydreaming about other ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author iVentureBiz
    heheh this happens to me all the time, I actually have a binder filled with ideas that I'm working on completing...

    I find the best way is to have a notebook handy at all times. As well as a digital voice recorder. Usually I have both within arms reach at all times so that if I'm sleeping I can easily get up say a couple words about the idea to jog my memory later or write/draw out what's in my mind.

    Thankfully my wife is a heavy sleeper so I don't wake her up when I start mumbling into my voice recorder at 3am lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
    I hate when that happens, getting an idea in the middle of the night, or often I get them when I am trying to fall asleep. So often, I can not get back to sleep, guess some of the ideas get me to excited.

    I am with others, try to keep paper and pen next to the bed. Like webwriter said, some times I think I'll remember them and many times I don't.

    A voice recorder is a good idea Mark, did not think about it.

    Some years ago, I remember reading about, I believe it was Tom Monaghan, from Domino's, that he had a pad and pen with him at all times, so he wouldn't forget an idea, said he had 100's of notepads full.

    While having the computer in the bedroom might be more efficient, it wouldn't be good for me, I spend to much time on it as it is

    I usually try NOT to this about biz when I am trying to fall asleep, so I don't get to much going on in my head and then can't get to sleep.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sam Mlambo
    I get big ideas often when I'm trying to sleep. Yes it can be annoying when you actually need the rest for the next day. But your ideas are wealth generators. Money chases ideas. So I suggest to always record them down and keep them safe to take action with them later.

    I have a digital recorder. And I carry it around everywhere I go. whenever I get a good idea I just record it down. Much faster then having to write it down.

    But all in all, record your ideas down. The next idea could be the one to make you millions of dollars!

    - Sam
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    • Profile picture of the author webwriter
      Of course, I always take along a pen and small pad when I go out. However, it seemed as though the Muse deserted me. No ideas occurred to me! However, they always seemed to when I happened to forget my pen. Maybe I was just too focused on other things. But lately, this seems to happen every time. By the time I get home, I.ve completely forgotten that brilliant idea. If that isn't frustrating, I don't know what is.
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  • Profile picture of the author AwesomePossum
    Webwriter,
    I recommend you just get an audio recorder. (Trey and I were talking about this in another forum actually.)

    Carrying a pen and a notepad around to write down your ideas is much different than having an audio recorder when your ideas occur! Having your audio recorder available to get you through the day is a great idea. Schedules, tasks, I used it for lectures in class, ect.(It just keeps things running more smoothly) If you always have it with you, it's there for when your ideas pop up while not the reason you carrying it around....make sense? If not I can rephrase
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Aaryn - most of the good ideas I get when I'm in bed happen when I'm in that state in between being awake and asleep. This can be either when falling asleep or waking up. I seldom wake in the middle of a sound sleep with an idea, although I have woke myself up laughing out loud before.

    I keep a notebook on my nightstand to jot the idea down. I use a voice recorder otherwise, but I don't want to wake my wife up talking into a recorder.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lady
    Often, and for that reason I keep a pad of paper and a pen on the nightstand to jot it down quickly, because I know the idea will be gone in the morning.
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    Best Wishes Lee

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  • Profile picture of the author mello
    Pad and pen in my bag and next to my bed ... voice recorder when I remember it .. and if all else fails my crackberry is ALWAYS at hand so I'll send an email to myself so I don't lose the idea.

    Now, the issue is how to process all those ideas and turn them into $$$. Just not enough hours in the day to go through all the notes. A system to review, compile and process - thanks for the GTD reminder DejanM!

    Cheers
    Mel
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  • Profile picture of the author Sandy Cormack
    Yes, sometimes I have dreams that I later connect to a problem or issue I'm working on.

    Like for instance, I've been trying to develop my internet marketing strategy for several months. I also started playing a really fun video game around December. One night I had a dream about the game that morphed into a solution to some of the marketing issues I was wrestling with. When I awoke the connection was clear - some of strategies I employed in the game were analogous to the strategies I needed to pursue in my marketing.

    This does not happen often but when it does it heightens my sense of intuition.
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  • It happened to me. But I never applied those ideas...
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  • Profile picture of the author cwrinco
    Originally Posted by AwesomePossum View Post

    This has happened 3 nights in a row for me. Just wake up in the middle of the night. This morning I got out of bed and ran over to a notebook lol. Think I woke up everyone at the house.
    1 for SI, 1 for goal setting, & 1 I don't remember

    Any helpful hints on getting these ideas down before they're gone forever?

    Should I just keep a notebook by my side and write it down when I wake up? Seems like it would be hard to wake up to write things down then be able go back to sleep(I really value this. 8 hr nights are what keeps my days rolling) but it's the best Idea I have so far..... Brain Storm???

    Thanks,
    Aaryn
    I keep a notebook on the bedstand, on the seat of the car while driving, in my pocket while sitting in waiting rooms.... always, always, always have a way to jot down ideas, night time, day time, anytime. These are powerful thoughts that shouldn't be ignored.

    One problem I have with the night time ideas is I won't turn the light on and try not to get too awakened. In the morning, I sit there and try to read and understand what I wrote... often times I can't figure it out. Often times I wish I couldn't!

    fun!
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    • Profile picture of the author AwesomePossum
      Originally Posted by cwrinco View Post


      One problem I have with the night time ideas is I won't turn the light on and try not to get too awakened. In the morning, I sit there and try to read and understand what I wrote... often times I can't figure it out. Often times I wish I couldn't!

      fun!
      lol. Very funny. I'll have to try to keep that in mind. Hopefully I don't run into the same problem :p
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  • Profile picture of the author lokodomain
    Spending 5 minutes a day in quiet thought can help with your ideas
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  • Profile picture of the author Arun Kumar
    Interesting topic but, i have never woke up in the middle of the night with the brilliant idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author ToniMaltano
    I don't wake up with great ideas in the middle of the night, but I always
    have so damn great ideas before falling asleep

    I am just laying down in bed, relaxing and all of a sudden I have a great
    strategy that I can use for my own marketing or an idea about a great thread
    I can post here at WF. I need to write these ideas down every time becuase I
    forget to use them if I don't.

    The night is full of surprises.
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    • Profile picture of the author pickthat apple
      I would suggest a pencil but a big notebook as opposed to small, because I find that if you switch on the light and open your eyes it is not the same....
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
    In psychology.

    Ingredients:
    - Pen
    - Notebook
    - Bottle of Water
    - GREAT IDEA!

    In psychology class I was told by my teacher that you should keep a notebook, pen, and bottle of water right next to your bed. This way when you pop out of bed you can just lean over, jot down your dreams/ideas and take a nice sip of water to refresh yourself. Which I guess can also help you remember better?
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  • Profile picture of the author RDJLabs
    How about a near laptop instead of a notebook and a pen? It would be faster than that
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketstriker
    Lucky you. I didn't have this experience. My best ideas come to me after the cup of coffee. Lol. In the morning I concentrate on remembering my dreams during the night and writing them down. It helps to understand myself deeper and develop my personality in this way.
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    • Profile picture of the author AwesomePossum
      Originally Posted by Marketstriker View Post

      In the morning I concentrate on remembering my dreams during the night and writing them down. It helps to understand myself deeper and develop my personality in this way.
      Ya, I've been trying to work on that too but it hasn't been my strong suit. I think I'm going to work on Lucid Dreaming once I get all of this crazy IM studying out of the way. I love this game lol. Game Theory at it's best
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  • Profile picture of the author CoolWebStuff
    Well, something similar ... An idea pops us and even trying hard to go to bed.. i keep on thinking making plans.. for the whole night and the next day !!
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  • Profile picture of the author kwality
    Keep an idea notepad close to your bed. Or just record yourself as you speak with your cellphone.
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  • Profile picture of the author vneely
    I seldom wake up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea. When I wake up, it's usually because I have to go to the bathroom.

    But I'm plagued with ideas and schemes all the time when I'm trying to go to sleep. It's like my brain gets hyper and realizes it has only a limited time to fire out nifty ideas before sleep overtakes it. I deal with it by dumping ideas into a notebook.

    I wouldn't keep a laptop by my bed to record ideas, though. Odds are, I'll be tempted to do other things like check email or surf the web, and then I'll never get to sleep.

    As for a voice recorder--no. Well, maybe I'd do that if I lived alone and knew I wouldn't disturb anyone or worry about sounding dumb.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sandy Cormack
    Salvador Dali and others used this technique:

    1. Get a pen, notepad, metal fork, and comfy chair.

    2. Sit in chair with fork in hand, dangling towards the floor.

    3. Doze off. When you do you will drop the fork and it will wake you up.

    4. You will have dreamed about something. Write it down.

    5. Repeat.

    Then take all these things and try to connect them to whatever you're working on to create new and novel perspectives.
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    Creativity Training, Strategic Planning, Personal Development, Organizational Development, and Lead Guitar
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  • Profile picture of the author AwesomePossum
    Sick!!! Thanks Sandy... that's a great idea. I just have to make sure I'm tired when I do it :p

    Also, I had the craziest dream last night....
    I found the first steps within my life purpose from it....kinda crazy actually. I spent all morning dissecting it.
    While I was in a golden temple, I got a heart in a golden chest from an angel
    This was a Jack Cranfield mediation but I didn't seem to get it right while I was awake....It still worked out though so I'm pretty happy!!
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