By jimgris on Jul 09, 2009
Going to sleep immediately after managing or participating in active, intense, and stressful meetings (I call them "hot" meetings) or after dealing with fast breaking issues can lead to some really hairy nightmares. Keep in mind that 9 a.m. in San Francisco is 1 a.m. in Tokyo the next day, so as the Americans are gearing up for action your body in Asia is supposed to be winding down. Over time, this is a jarring experience. Generally, most normal people don't crash immediately after these hot meetings. They drive home. They go for a run. They take a swim. They eat dinner. They play with the kids. They walk in the park. They catch a baseball game. Watch a little TV. They unwind a bit before bed. Whatever. They don't just go from work to bed in 1 minute (and, no, checking our email at nite while watching Leno is not work, sorry).
But what's interesting about this is that when you get through the initial nightmares and get into normal sleep you wake up with a fresh set of ideas about how to solve the problems that buried you in the meeting before you went to sleep -- which was just a few hours earlier! I've never had this experience before, but he pattern is clear. My subconscious mind seems to be working out the details of the problems while it serves up a steady flow if dragons and murders and other such bloody and graphic fun. And when I get up, I have multiple new ideas for dealing with stuff. I now keep a notebook close by so I can jot down whatever comes out immediately upon waking. Those first few moments are critical, though. Once conscious thinking starts, all is lost and you are simply up.