Idle Thoughts, Part 1


I’ve said before that bedtime seems to be the cue for my brain to fire on all cylinders and run wild while I’m trying to settle down and sleep. Some nights I’m more successful than others.

I don’t know about you, but my brain function and resulting thoughts are very, very different depending on which side I lie: when I lie on my left side, my thoughts are more deliberate and concrete, as if I have to ‘tell’ my brain what to think about. However, when I turn over, which I do often, it feels as if my creativity has been unleashed and torrents of unconnected and random thoughts, images, and colors flood my head. Most of the time, I don’t even have the words to describe it.

I get all kinds of inspiration and ideas while I’m waiting for sleep, but (for the most part) only when I’m on my right side. And if I am ruminating on something – say, a potential blog topic – and I turn over, it’s gone. I struggle to recall what I thought about only seconds before.  This is so frustrating!  While on my right side, I will have some brilliant, elaborate gem of an idea, and rather than rouse enough to write it down, I convince myself I’ve cemented it in my consciousness – only to turn over and lose it completely.  The worst part is, my paper and pen are only reachable if I’m on my left side.

Does this happen to you? I have taken many of those pop culture ‘left/right brain dominance’ evaluations, and I usually end up right in the middle. (Fun fact: you can find plenty of articles debunking that theory, like this one: and this one: I also rank pretty evenly between visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learning. (Learning style and preference theories are also contested; there is a great body of research surrounding and informing the different approaches.) So maybe ‘right brain/left brain’ isn’t a thing.

But why does my brain work differently when I change position? Makes no sense to me.

Anyway, it struck me as strange.



image credit HockeyholicAZ for

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Aging like a fine wine. ;-)

3 thoughts on “Idle Thoughts, Part 1”

  1. Uh…………..I KNEW there was something about you. Nope, I do not usually have thoughts that escape from positional change. I can only sleep on my left side or my back, so if I dream or have wonderful ideas, they HAVE to come from there. I DO have my best ideas just before I fall asleep. And the dreams I have had could curl your hair (those I can remember).

  2. It seems to me, if you don’t have a shelf or somewhere to place a notebook & pen on your right side, the obvious fix would be to hang a small notepad (with pen attached) to the wall above your head where you can reach it without turning over. I do not have this same thing happen-to my knowledge, but I will pay attention now. Lying on my right side is usually more comfortable & how I fall asleep. Lying on my left I feel restless & after a short while, I notice my hip hurting. Maybe it’s because of the brain thing but I didn’t realize it was a “thing” until now. Intriguing.

    1. A pad above my head… I guess I should give that some thought, huh? Good idea!
      I have issues with lying comfortably for various reasons, but that whole thinking thing really is curious. I guess I’m just a bit strange! xoxo

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