Please stop thinking and let me sleep!”
Oh! The agony of looking at the clock every few minutes to calculate how many hours of sleep you’d get if you slept just that minute! The frustration of scrolling through the phone for the nth time in search of some new content on Facebook or Instagram that’ll help kill time. The futility of rereading old messages on Whatsapp. And who can forget the sheer inability of getting out of bed the next morning. Not to mention that dull headache and grogginess that lasts all day?
Doesn’t this sound familiar? We’ve all had nights when we toss and turn and just can’t seem to sleep! Well, I’ve had my share of sleepless nights too. But that has changed in the past few years. Now, I can fall asleep in minutes. Just the other day, a friend asked me the average time it took me to fall asleep after hitting the bed. I said a few minutes. He was stunned! But it wasn’t always that simple for me. It’s only in the last 2 years that I find it easy to sleep. Here’s how you can too!
Before I start, I know that we all lead very busy lives and have demanding schedules. Hence, I am not going to ask you to exercise more, eat better, prioritize etc. Firstly, I know you are not going to do those things simply ‘coz I asked you to. These are big changes in lifestyle that must be made consciously and come from within. We’ve all probably tried doing those things and they don’t always last! Secondly, our lifestyles don’t always allow for these changes to be made! Keeping this in mind, these tips are designed to be easily applicable and should work with whatever lifestyle you currently lead.
Don’t try too hard
If I can’t fall asleep within 10-15 minutes of hitting the bed, I stop forcing myself. Experience tells me that forcing never works. I generally pick up my Kindle and read a few pages off a random book. It makes me fall asleep almost instantly. So do whatever it is you want to do – scroll through your Facebook news feed, read, listen to music, eat, or take a walk. Just don’t force.
I sleep alone in a king size bed and had the habit of leaving my laptop, phone, headphones on the bed beside me. A while back, I started putting these away before hitting the sack and there has been a drastic change in my sleep quality! Try and put away all gadgets away from the bed. I also switch off my Wifi router. The light from these gadgets tend to interfere with our sleep.
This one works like an absolute charm. Take two cold cucumber slices and put them on your eyes. The cool sensation relaxes your eyes immediately and calms your mind. All the better if you put on some music.
Pen those issues
If something’s been bothering me, I write it down on a piece of paper before hitting my bed. You must definitely try this. Helps in two ways – either it gets the thought out of your mind and you feel you can deal with it the next morning. Or, as it happens with me, it sends a signal to your subconscious mind to find a solution to your problem and more often than not, I wake up in the morning with the perfect solution to the problem!
Beds are for sleeping
If you eat, watch TV, read, and sleep on the same bed, chances are your quality of sleep will be worse than if you only use it for relaxing activities such as sleeping, or reading.
The 4-7-8 method
Interestingly, there is a specific breathing technique that promises to put you to sleep in minutes. I haven’t tried it yet but it’s supposed to be great! You can read about it here!
That slightly indented point exactly between your eyebrows and above your nose is said to induce sleep. Putting mild pressure or massaging that point should make you feel sleepy. Try it!
The most obvious one! Listening to soothing music calms your mind and reduces thinking.
How many minutes does it take for you to fall asleep? What are your tricks? Let me know!
This is the second post in the ‘Positivity’ series. The first part was about decluttering or throwing/donating things that you no longer use. Through this series, I plan to share simple practical steps to remove negativity from your life, especially if you feel stuck, depressed, or just about ‘okay’.
“Why be okay when you can feel awesome – all the darn time?”