Do you have problems turning your mind off at night? Does that voice inside of your head chatter away, while your mind tries to analyse all your thoughts and all those things happening in your life? Does this spill over into your dreams?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if when you went to bed, you could do so with calmness and a beautiful silence in your mind.
But instead your mind creates dreams frequently built around your inadequacies or your problems. These thoughts are fuelled by the things in your life that are troubling you.
Can there be anything worse than lying in bed, tossing and turning for hours, unable to fall asleep, thinking about so many things?
Many of us know the feeling, we just want to go to sleep, but we can’t for the racing thoughts that are running through our heads. The more we try and switch off, the more different thoughts we have and we are left to just watch as the hours on our clock tick forward and we are no more rested.
Your mind spends this time looking for answers and trying to find solutions to whatever problems you are facing, as well as reflecting on the day just gone. Instead of helping, your frustrations just get worse.
You even realise these thoughts are keeping you awake, or as bad they’re entering your dreams so you try to rid yourself of unwanted thoughts. But the more you “try” to push them away, the longer they linger and the stronger their impact.
But then at last you drift off to sleep. Yet the thoughts don’t stop there, they carry through into your dreams. It’s because your unfinished thoughts need an outlet. Your dreams are just carrying on juggling the various responsibilities you are trying to deal with.
You are overwhelmed with trying to fit everything into your busy schedule. Yours dreams are your internal way of trying to sort things out and organize the different aspects of your life. So they throw at you a succession of images, sounds, thoughts and emotions that are vividly imagined and experienced by the mind in sleep. But they’re building on your insecurities and fears, and taking the benefits of your sleep away from you.
Well no more, now you’re going to make sure you get a good night sleep.
You have to de-stress before trying to sleep.
Now I’m not going to get you to count sheep, but I’m going to ask you as a starting point to focus on your breathing. Instead of focusing on what is going on in your mind, concentrate on the breaths that you are taking. Force yourself to take slow, deep breaths. Breathe in and out through your nose. You will start to feel more relaxed and at ease instead of anxious.
So let’s give you a plan of action to ensure you stop your mind from racing at night so to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
Find the Positives in Life
If you want a complete and peaceful night of sleep it is vital to clear your mind. When there is too much going on in your head and your thoughts are running here and there, sleep is hard to come by. Get some paper and write down what you like about your life, your job, yourself, your family, and anything else you can think of. Just write down and think about the positives for 5 or 10 minutes and make a nice little list of the good things in life.
Make yourself comfortable in bed
This practice is all about focusing on the here and now, by gently acknowledging any thoughts, but come back to the present. Feel the pillow on your face, the duvet on your feet, the movement of your breath. Now for 5 minutes focus just on your breathing. As any thoughts come into your mind, say thank you but go and refocus on your breathing.
Try Progressive Muscular Relaxation
Combining controlled breathing with the measured release of tension in the body. Focus your energy on your toes, becoming aware of their presence, and inhale deeply through the nose. Hold your breath for three seconds, gently flexing your toes. Exhale through the mouth, and relax your toes. Repeat. Slowly work up your body, becoming aware of and relaxing through your knees, your hips, your chest etc. You may find you fall asleep before you finish. This should take no more than 5 minutes
Visualize yourself relaxed on a beach
If you’re still awake try a positive visualization exercise. This involves imagining a place where you feel happy and relaxed, and there’s nowhere better than a beautiful warm secluded beach. Imagine the sights, sounds, smells and tastes you want to experience. Focus on the sun, sea, sand, palm trees, the wind, the birds, and everything that is in sight. The more detailed the impression, the more affective it will be. See yourself calm, chilled just completely relaxed. Hear the waves, the seagulls and allow yourself to drift off to sleep.
These are some simple ways to relax to ensure a good night sleep. The bottom line is to slow down the thinking processes in the mind and bring yourself into deep relaxation.