Eureka! I Have Insomnia.
“The Heart Attack” begins with Jerry waking up in the middle of the night to write down a joke he thinks is funny. During the rest of the episode, Jerry tries to figure out what the joke was he wrote on that sheet of paper. When he finally figures out what he wrote, he realizes it wasn’t funny.
Before going to bed tonight, I decided to write down an idea I wanted to look at in the morning. My reasoning was that if I didn’t write down my idea, I would start thinking about it after going to bed and wouldn’t be able to sleep. I then did some light reading to forget about research before going to bed. With the idea written and my mind on other things, I planned to fall asleep without giving research a second thought.
If only things were that simple. About an hour after laying down, I woke up to realize there was a way to extend the idea. I wrote it down and tried to go back to sleep. Unfortunately, the process of thinking about the potential result and its implications increased my adrenaline levels, and I have been unable to get back to sleep.
I have many eureka moments in unexpected places. They happen in the shower, at dinner with friends, and of course in bed. Unfortunately, like Jerry’s joke, not all eureka moments reflect correct insights, and the ones that don’t may be called fauxreka moments. If I were to keep statistics on the fraction of fauxreka moments per eureka moment, the fraction in bed would most likely be the largest. Here’s hoping for an atypical event tomorrow.