Swift To-Do List Blog

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Why you can’t sleep

Why you can't sleepYou are lying in bed. You want to sleep, but you just can’t. You roll around. Time is going by. You are frustrated. You are not getting enough sleep, and you know it. In the morning, it’s very difficult to get up. Snooze. Snooze. But you have to get up. You feel tired and run-down. If you only could bring your morning tiredness into the night…

While insomnia can have many causes, I’ve had an incredible discovery recently -

It can be fixed easily and quickly.

We all think that the causes of insomnia are things like suboptimal room temperature/air/humidity, overeating, too much light, noise, wrong mattress, wrong sleeping position, hormonal imbalance, lack of exercise, snoring, etc etc.

All these things can be a factor. But here’s the incredible part. In most cases, the real reason is completely different. This is both my personal experience, as well as observations of multiple coaches and experts.

The real reason why we can’t fall asleep is because we are thinking about stuff. Stuff we have to do the next day. Stuff we can’t forget about. Stuff that worries us. So much stuff! We keep thinking about all that stuff in circles, unable to let it go and rest. Our minds are like a stuck gramophone record.

We might not realize this, but we are afraid. We are afraid to stop thinking about all the stuff. Why? Because we might forget it. And if we forget the stuff, bad things would happen to us. Our boss might yell at us. Our spouse might feel we don’t care about them anymore. Our kids might despise us. Debt and bill collectors might knock on our doors. Our customers or clients might leave us. People might think less of us. All because we forgot about… you know, stuff.

Fortunately, the solution is incredibly simple. All you have to is one simple thing before you go to bed. And that’s it. It takes about 5 minutes.

In the evening, right before you go to bed, do this: Write down the stuff that’s on your mind. It doesn’t matter if you write it on paper or into some software (such as Swift To-Do List for Windows). Just write a list of all the stuff that’s on your mind. Things you have to do. Things you can’t forget. Things that need to be taken care of the next day. Things that worry you. Just dump it. Plan your next day a little. But capture it all.

Until you write the stuff down, you will never be able to let it go. You will never stop thinking about it. You will never sleep as good as you could.

But once you actually write it down in the evening…

You will immediately feel a huge relief. You will be able to sleep. Deep, rejuvenating sleep that you deserve. No more rolling around in bed worrying about… stuff. The stuff is written down. Its right there, on the paper. You can let it go now, and pick it up tomorrow.

Now, it’s all good.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/paco.meralgl Paco Meralgl

    it’s true, since i use evernote i sleep better

  • http://twitter.com/mongbatstar david smythe

    What if someone throws away my list?
    What happens if I forget how to read?
    Can I remember where I put my list?

    So many problems!

    • Libor

      What if a piece of meteorite rip through the ceiling? … Hey, these worries are useless. You can worry about possibility of nuclear war. These worries are do no good – they make you stay alert – but you won’t be able to concentrate and do less in the long run then if you would get some sleep.

      • Terb


    • jsu

      Trolls are everywhere :D

  • http://twitter.com/JefClaes Jef Claes

    When something like that pops up, I’ll just quickly send an email addressed to myself.

  • http://twitter.com/steve_messina Steve Messina

    I can’t sleep because I’m excited about the future I’m going to create. How, What, what’s next, …

  • http://www.facebook.com/giridhar.kannan Giridhar Kannan

    For me its the exact opposite. If am afraid of some thing or am worried about some thing, then I sleep fast !

  • http://twitter.com/ivanhoe011 ajvan

    then you will just lay awake worrying if you’ve forgot to put something on the list :)

    • tdun

      LOL!!!!! Thats me :-)

  • dat


  • greenfingers

    Masterbation usually works for me.

  • Laura

    Good food for thought…or non-thought, since the point is to stop thinking. I’ve reposted this to Athenians, the Christian news aggregator. You can see the discussion it generates here;

  • Anything But Winblows

    “some software (such as Swift To-Do List for Windows)”
    I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I used windows either…

  • twqqis

    Good punt author of the suggested software tool. Unfortunately, when I’m lying in bed in the dark and I have something to write down, I will not get up, walk to the computer, turn it on, wait for it to boot…. *sigh*

    • JiriNovotny

      That’s why you should do it beforehand – every day. When you are lying in bed, its too late.

  • Rob

    A cooling pillow worked for me, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GloYp6IrD8w