Mind Body Restoration

Training Myself to Go to Sleep

Train-brain-better-sleep-reduce-insomniaWe all have busy lives, and I am no exception. In my schedule, I would sometimes only have seven hours available for sleep instead of the recommended eight hours. I do not have time to lie there, waiting to get to sleep. It used to take me 30-45 minutes to get to sleep, waking tired and grumpy the next day. To remedy this, I set out to train myself to go to sleep quickly.

The first thing I did was notice what made me comfortable enough to go to sleep. I always struggle to get to sleep if my ears and feet are not covered, my arms are cold, or if I am not laying on my side. Now, my bedtime routine includes microwaving a hot pack and making sure the sheet is over my exposed ear before I am ready to go to sleep.

The last part was getting my brain to quiet down and transition over to sleep. I tried several things for this, including meditating before bed, turning electronics off early, and journaling. These helped, but not enough. What made the difference was a guided meditation that goes through a body scan specifically designed to put you to sleep. It was important that once it's done, nothing else starts up. The one I found was 13 minutes long. After a week or two of using it nightly, I fall asleep within the first 5 minutes of the meditation. This is great, and exactly what I need!  If you are looking for one that works for you, Insight Timer has several meditations that meet these requirements, and UCLA also made a good one. 

On those rare occasions it doesn’t work, I go over a mental checklist of things that might keep me awake. These include needing to use the bathroom and not being warm enough. Nine times out of ten, if I fix those things, I can go right to sleep.

I hope these tips are helpful, and your sleep is easy and restful! If it isn’t I recommend discussing next steps with a health coach to get that delicious night's sleep.

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