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!’
This is where mindfulness can be a huge help when you can’t get to sleep
As you lay in bed, ruminating over your problem, become aware that this is what you are doing.
But you can take charge! Try these ideas:
• 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. Each time you become aware that you have returned to the anxious thought, you guide yourself gently back to your new focus. You are in charge, and this is the foundation of mindfulness.
There are lots of other things you can do to make your evening more relaxing so that your mind is more prepared for sleep, like avoiding drinking caffeine and alcohol, having a relaxing bedtime routine and avoiding texting and emailing late into the evening.
You may also like to read: How to Sleep Better
I wish you sweet dreams!
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness and Meditation Coach at Place of Serenity
Day 6 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge with Sarah Arrow