Insomnia is any kind of poor sleep that affects the quality of your life. Most of us go through times in our lives when we experience this.
I can’t get to sleep!
If you have a baby or young children, you will be familiar with sleep deprivation. Alternatively, you may be going through a time of anxiety with ill-health, big family changes like divorce, bereavement or the uncertainty of redundancy.
In these instances, the mind gets hijacked into going over the associated stories again and again. It’s either impossible to get to sleep or you wake up several times through the night and can’t settle back to sleep.
There you have it, in one simple phrase: ‘I can’t get to sleep!’
Helpful Tips for when I can’t get to sleep
Your mindfulness can be a huge help when you can’t get to sleep
Yet with mindfulness you can take charge.
Try these helpful tips for when ‘I can’t get to sleep’ is the phrase rampaging round your mind:
- Focus on your breath and follow it for a few in-breaths and a few out-breaths. Then imagine you are breathing into and out of your feet, followed by your legs, hips, stomach and so on. All the way up your body. Start again if you are still awake!
- Focus on your breathing and imagine you are sitting at the edge of the seashore. As you follow your breath it starts to feel like the ebb and flow of the tide. Allow this gentle imagery to lull you to sleep.
- Count your breaths; each out-breath up to 5 or up to 10 and keep repeating.
The above ideas can work because you are making a decision where to focus your thoughts. And it really does take some concentration to focus. Notice at first how easy it is to drift away from your intended focus.
Each time you become aware that you have got hooked into the anxious thought, guide yourself gently back to your new focus. You are in charge, and this is the foundation of mindfulness.
Further Tips help you sleep
- Avoiding drinking caffeine and alcohol by late afternoon
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine allowing plenty of time to unwind
- Avoid texting and emailing late into the evening
- Explore the use of a weighted blanket
- Find some natural aromatherapy oils that relax your senses eg. lavender or chamomile
You may also like to read: How to Sleep Better
I wish you sweet dreams!
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness and Meditation Guide