Tuesday, July 5, 2011
We’ve all heard about counting sheep and to be honest its effectiveness varies from person to person. The reason often being is that too much concentration and focus is put on the actual task. If the conscious mind is too awake you may find yourself counting up to 1000 and still not feel any sleepier.
It’s the subconscious part of the mind that knows how to sleep. I’m sure you’ve tried, but you absolutely cannot will yourself to sleep, it just doesn’t happen that way. Fact is, sleep isn’t supposed to be forced, it’s supposed to just happen naturally. If you’ve suffered from insomnia for many years and relied on sleep medication to help you sleep, you may find natural sleep difficult.
This is because, you have come to rely on sleeping pills and you are no longer relying on your natural ability to sleep. This habit has been ingrained into your subconscious and is in effect becoming the way you are. However, just as we can learn to walk, ride a bike and drive a car, you can learn how to sleep. More accurately you are reawakening and reinforcing your own ability to sleep.
There are many sleep techniques you can try such as progressive relaxation and deep breathing. In fact there are far more effective and natural ways to deal with insomnia than your average sleeping pill. However, today I will explain a simple and basic sleep technique which you will be able to follow with ease.
This sleep technique is similar to counting sheep, however it is far more effective as you will see in a minute:Step 1:
Once you’re ready to sleep, ensure that your bed and bedroom is dark, comfortable and not too warm. It’s best to lie on your back for this. So get yourself in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
Now begin to breathe deeply and slowly. Listen to each slow inhale and exhale. On each exhale, feel your body sinking down into the bed. Feel your body heavy and tired. Continue this until you feel relaxed from head to toe.
Now it’s time to begin with some affirmations. Imagine a calm and soothing voice and tell yourself ‘You feel sleepy and tired’ and ‘You will sleep better and better every night’ Feel free to adapt and change the affirmations. Just ensure that you use positive language.
Now continuing with your deep, slow breathing, begin to count up on each exhale. Working from your head to your toes, relax a part of your body on each exhale. Imagine and feel your body heavy and sinking deeper into the bed. Continue this until you reach your toes.
You may find that you lose track when counting. This is a good sign that you’re drifting, if this happens, don’t worry exactly where you were, just continue roughly where you left off. If at the end you are still awake, don’t panic! You can’t expect miracle cures.