# Problem-Solving While Falling Asleep

Do you do this? I do. The latest incidence was last night. I have these long blinds in my living room, that have on one end a square cut out, that is grabbed by a grabby thing that hangs down from the frame. My two lovely kitties, Lucinda and Pam, like to play in, around, and through the blinds, seeing as how they cover the much beloved big window. After a while of suffering abuse, occasionally the square hole in the end of the blind will rip, leaving a blank space with no closing. I would take a picture of it but I can’t find my battery for the camera, but just think of a square and then after breakage, a U. This has been the bane of my existence for the past year that I’ve lived here. I’m cheap and don’t want to go buy new blinds. I’ve tried tape and various things but could never get the blind to stay up for more than an hour at a time. The thing was constantly falling down, exposing a small sliver of my living room to the public at large! I hated it! It was the roadrunner to my Wile E. Coyote, that bastard blind.

As I was falling asleep last night, in a hypnogogic state, it came to me. A staple! A staple across the U and the grabby thing has something to grab and voila! Yay! I tried it today, and of course it worked! Ah-hah!

It doesn’t always work out, though. Once I hypnogognically taught myself the formula to writing a best-selling book. Everything in the universe is mathematical, everything boils down to a formula. The secret to a great book is just to figure out the mathematical formula of sequences of sentences that go together, and before you know it, you’re on Oprah! Ah- not so much.

Do you ever solve problems as you’re falling asleep?

I once figured out an extra-credit calculus problem this way. Unfortunately, I mixed something up in the actual calculation so I didn’t get the credit for it. It would have been the first and only time I got extra credit in calculus. But I did get the concept of how to go about solving it!

I’ve had substantial and probing scientific insights in this state. The next day they are obviously superficial and amateurish and utterly without merit.

But it’s gotten worse. We have a lot of cats, and two nights ago I was thinking about one of them and realized I couldn’t remember if that one was still alive or had died. So I got to fall asleep wondering if I had Alzheimers and considering options for hiding it and so forth. It really did take until I was making coffee the next morning to decide that that one was dead.

I’m sorry, but I am going to insist that you get a battery for that camera so that I can see that blind and the grabby thing with the staple. I just can’t visualise it and it’s driving me nuts.

Not in the hypnagogic state, but I do tend to think about and solve problems while in bed.

It’s weird, of all the places I spend a significant amount of time my place of work seems to be the one where I am least able to get the best thinking done about a work related problem.

I can’t seem to find the battery or the charger, and it’s driving me nuts. Let me try to explain it better- picture a long thin blind. On one end, about an inch from the very end, is punched out a square, like but solid. You insert the blind into its frame, and the grabby thing within the frame is like teeth that hold the blind in place. The teeth of the grabby thing are touching inside the punched out square, thereby holding it in place. Except through the magic of boisterous kitties, sometimes the very end piece, after the square, is torn off, leaving a U instead of a , giving the teeth nothing to keep in place. See? The staple recreates the square.

Wow. Yes. I do this all the time. I’m sorry to say that laying in bed I’ve calculated the time it would take to free-fall to death from, say the 80’th floor of a building.

These distractions help me fall asleep; and disturb me; and intrigue me.

I’d like to say I think of good solutions while falling alseep, but if I do, I have to not fall asleep and get up and do something about it.

However, I make stuff out of metal for a living, and what I do is a lot of nasty, tricky stuff. I dream up solutions all the time. I guess its kind of weird to have good dreams, not nightmares about work, but it happens a lot. Its really nice to go to bed with a \$65 an hour job, and wake up with a \$300 an hour job.

I’m sure you’ll find them after you sleep on it.

Fixed my transmission shifting problem in my sleep/semi-conscious state. Many years ago I had just reassembled by newly rebuilt 4-speed to the car and was tooling around. At a stop, I shifted into first and everything locked up. I had third gear, neutral, and the other positions were locked up. Got home in third, parked, and worried over what I had screwed up. Over night, it hit me. Syncros were now great, bearings smooth, but I hadn’t redone the shifter mechanism. 1968 Chevelle by the way. Next morning, pulled off the levers, mount, cleaned and relubed lightly and no problems. Corrosion was causing the 1-2 lever and reverse lever to slide in place at the same time locking the transmission. Third was another gate that did not push the reverse with it.

I think somebody stoled it! You know how you pick ONE certain spot to keep a certain thing in, and you never deviate from putting it in that one certain spot, ever? That’s how it was with my camera battery and charger. Now it’s gone.

Okay, probably nobody stoled it, but that’s what I like to say when I can’t find something. I will have to concentrate on it as I’m falling asleep tonight. I’ll report back any findings.

I’ve found the solution to problems that had been holding me back many a time as I drift off - I always keep a pen and pad by the bed now, just in case.

In general, I find it useful to walk away and disconnect from a really thorny problem - the solution seems to come all by itself when you stop thinking so hard about it - and I reckon the pre-sleep state is just a different version of that - the disconnection from all those things that distract and confuse.

I found the camera, so here’s the blind with staple.