I have onset insomnia. I lie awake at night for a couple hours thinking about all the things I’m going to do or what I did that day. I think about new ideas. I think about new businesses I could start, projects I should do, essays I should write. It’s ridiculous, but I’ve done it ever since I can remember.
I was browsing Tim Ferris’s blog and found out he has the same thing. Here is what he does about it:
I have — as do most males in my family — what is called “onset insomnia.” I don’t have trouble staying asleep, but I have a difficult time falling asleep, sometime laying awake in bed for 1-2 hours.
There are two approaches that I’ve used with good effect without medications to address this: 1) Determine and set a top priorities to-do list that afternoon for the following day to avoid late-night planning, 2) Do not read non-fiction prior to bed, which encourages projection into the future and preoccupation/planning. Read fiction that engages the imagination and demands present-state attention.
I’m often guilty of reading non-fiction before bed. The worst is if I read something about business or entrepreneurship or new ideas. I’ll end up thinking about it for hours while I stare at the ceiling.
Writing a to-do list the day before is a great idea. I’ve been trying to do that simply because it helps to have a focus as soon as I start my day. But this gives me another reason to do it.