Does Your Sleepy Head Get Blindsided By Busy Brain At 11:15 pm?

Written by Terri Crosby for In Care of Relationships

OK, good for you.  You’ve had a busy day, an active day, a productive day. And on top of that, you got up early to get it all going.

Now, it’s nearing 10 pm and you think to yourself, “Time to slow down,  get relaxed, head for the bedroom, read a little, and get a good night’s sleep.”

What a good and wise thought.

You begin to work your way in that direction, but cat litter needs emptying and the water bowl needs refreshing and, yes, the dishwasher finished a couple hours ago. It would be better to empty it now, wouldn’t it?

So you do.

And then there’s that email you forgot about until this very second — you promised to send  information today to a new client. Back to the computer for just a few minutes, right? No big deal. I’ll only take a moment. But while you’re there, you take care of a couple other emails. One takes longer than you thought.

Oops. Back to the kitchen to get the sliced peaches and big fat blueberries out of the freezer for tomorrow. You congratulate yourself for remembering.

Are we done yet?

Not quite. Brush teeth, wash face, jammies on.

Into blessed bed.

The clock says 11:15 pm. My how time flies.

So as your weary head falls to your heavenly pillow you think, “Ahhhh. Sleep. This is gonna be a piece of cake. This is gonna be so easy. I’m so tired.”

And then the unthinkable begins….

Nodding off effortlessly into dreamland — is not happening!

Where did it go? The Big Sleepy Head was here just a minute ago.  Alas.  Sleepy Head traded places with Busy Mind.  What an unwelcome exchange….

But you’re smart.  You can handle this.  You’ve heard from every guru out there since the 70’s that what you resist only gets worse, what you think about manifests, and where your attention flows your energy goes.

(Yeah, yeah. Just get me to sleep, please…)

So, being the good and brilliant human that you are, you resolve to welcome the unwelcome visitor, and be easy about it.  You tell yourself to let go of it all and chill out.  You do your best to tune out the party in your head.

You breathe deeply.  They say that works.

The dance of words slows a bit.

“This is going well,” you think optimistically. “I must be doing something right.

But inside your head, the talking party doesn’t actually stop.  There are a couple of noisy and determined characters who keep bringing up new topics for discussion. (At least it’s not a choir now!) These frisky ones are bringing up random, free range comment threads that don’t matter at all at this hour, or probably ever.

But there they are, these word children, yacking away.  The conversation is growing again.


One is planning an upcoming family reunion and making lists.  Another is thinking about spring gardening and what to plant.  Another is combing through a recent conversation, word for word, wondering what could have been said to make it turn out differently.

Goodness.  What can you do with them?

“Hush,” you say to the noisiest ones. You imagine them as restless children who played outside all day and just can’t settle down. You’re a good mom.  You understand.  And then with a deep sigh, you  give them a pillow and blanket and gently but firmly tell them to lay their sweet heads down, down, down.

And patiently, you pat them gently on their little heads and say, “It’s late, my darlings. Morning comes soon. Go to sleep.”

You even read them a story.  “Once upon a time…”

And the restless word children settle down for a minute. The bedtime story is good, but of course one of them asks for a drink of water.

You get the drink and sink back into the land of hopeful sleep.


The last child, the noisiest one is still awake.

So now what?

“Well, what if I sing a lullaby?”

You hum silently.

You notice you’re breathing more deeply.







For more information about In Care of Relationships, click here.

About Terri Crosby — I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains with Eric, my partner of 15 years, two cats and a dog, and as many flowers and vegetables as I can plant.  I love really good food, good friends, good relationships!

busy brain, can't get to sleep, In Care of Relationships, sleep, Terri Crosby

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