When you can’t get to sleep, one of the most common pieces of advice is to simply relax, stop worrying about it, and just let yourself drift off.
If only it were that easy though! Fortunately, there are a few simple meditation techniques which could help you reach the relaxed state that will put you in the right frame of mind to fall asleep.
If you’re a little sceptical about whether meditation can work for you, just check out this study from the Harvard Medical School, which found that mindfulness meditation helped to improve the sleep of insomnia sufferers.
While these methods are best used in the moments before you get into bed, there’s no reason you can’t use them throughout the day to help you feel more relaxed!
Breathing from your abdomen is a great way to relax, and requires you to really zone out and just focus on your breathing and nothing else.
While you’re lying in bed, place your hands over your stomach, and focus on them moving up and down as you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Also, try to really get a sense of your lungs filling up with air and expanding as you breathe in.
Focusing on all this will help to take your mind off any other thoughts in your head, and take you into a much calmer space.
You might find that it helps to listen to some calm music as you do this, although make sure it doesn’t distract you from your breathing.
Check out this article from wikiHow for more information on how to practice abdominal breathing.
Picturing a calm scene in your head can help many to relax and get to sleep, and while there are many different theories on exactly ‘what’ you should imagine, it’s really down to you to find something which relaxes you.
While many people will imagine they’re on a sandy beach or an empty field on a sunny day, it’s entirely up to you.
Once you’ve decided upon a space, use your imagination and allow all of your senses to embrace it.
While you can do this yourself, there are specialists such as sleep therapists and hypnotists who can help. You can also watch videos online, or read ‘relaxation scripts’ too.
While it’s not healthy to overthink things while you’re trying to sleep, it can sometimes help to deal with them before you go to bed.
It can be helpful to think about things one by one before you go to sleep, as long as you make sure to let them go from your mind.
For many people, the best way to do this is to jot down any thoughts or worries into a journal last thing (you may want to make a plan for the next day too).
Doing this helps to tell your brain that there’s nothing you can do about these things for now, and allows you to let go and, hopefully, drift off to sleep.
Yep, the old method of counting sheep can actually work! Of course, the sheep are optional, but counting can actually help you calm down.
Try taking a deep abdominal breath, and holding it, exhaling with each count. Some people like to imagine that they’re walking down an imaginary set of stairs, with each breath being another step.
Any of these methods could be the one that works for you, or you might like to try combining more than one.
Simply allowing yourself a few minutes before you go to bed to relax and calm down will go a long way towards helping you get a much better night’s sleep!
For more sleep tips and advice, be sure to keep checking our blog here at Sleepy People.