Your head hits the pillow, your eyes droop shut, and before you know it, you’re heading to a dreamland where cows jump over the moon and the sky shifts into the dusted orange of a beautiful sunset. Now that's what I call beauty sleep.
Can’t all nights be the night I actually fall asleep within the first ten minutes of lying down without stressing out over my plans for the next day or that one thing I didn’t have time to check off my list before bedtime? Unfortunately, sleep doesn’t always come that easy, in fact, sometimes sleep can mean tossing and turning, fluffing pillows, and staring blankly at a dark ceiling for hours.
If you have trouble sleeping, have no fear—a solution is here to guide you into an easy slumber. It may sound odd, but if you aren’t falling asleep as quickly as you would like to...
1. Think of a story.
And continue to build that story each night as you close your eyes. To distract yourself from whatever is keeping you from rest, try to think of something else that isn’t quite as serious but still interests you. For instance, a mermaid just saved you from drowning, what now? This strategy is similar to reading a bedtime story, except you’re telling one to yourself. Your mind may begin to relax upon realizing that this story has nothing to do with your daily anxieties, indicating that whatever was keeping you awake can wait until tomorrow.
2. Or you could get out of bed.
Walk around, take a sip of water, and head back to bed. Depending on how long you’ve been restless, you may want to simply get up for a short while. If you’ve been awake for longer than 30 minutes, walking around will wake you up and may also leave room for fatigue to set back in again. Walking around might help release tension or let off some of the adrenaline in your system.
Try maybe running a few miles or punching a wall. That was a joke.
The point is, movement will be like stretching your muscles before a workout, and it will give you something to do other than soaking up the frustration of constant consciousness.
3. Lastly, don’t think.
It’s a weird suggestion, but it will help you fall asleep. Sleeping is meant to be a break for your mind and body, physically and mentally. So, take a moment to meditate before you fall into dreamland, don’t let the day’s stress saturate inside of you, and just breathe without focusing on anything in particular. Most of all, don’t think about falling asleep, don’t think about tasks you want to get done tomorrow, and never think about thinking about if you’re falling asleep.
Let sleep be a natural thing that comes to you, like a guardian angel with the softest caress. Ideally, you won’t even realize you’ve fallen asleep until you wake up the next day.
The art of sleep is not easily mastered, but it’s possible.
After all, we will eventually lose consciousness one way or another, but it will be up to us how we go about that and how we want to feel. As long as we let our minds be at ease and keep ourselves from lingering on the things that make us frown, the guardian angel of sleep is sure to pay us a visit.