I used to have a very hard time falling asleep at night because when I got into bed my mind would race a mile a minute. I would be thinking frantically about events of the day, and things I said that I wished I hadn’t. Sounds so fun, right? No wonder I couldn’t fall asleep!
The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but many of us don’t get that.
Until I learned to let go of my day, I couldn’t relax into sleep. Ultimately, because I couldn’t relax into sleep I turned to sleeping pills, which led to an addiction. The more mindful I became during the day thanks to my self-care practices, and the more compassion I began to have for myself, the more I realized that things about my bedtime routine needed to change. It took two years, but I finally felt ready.
I gained the confidence to turn my habits around, and worked hard to teach myself how to fall asleep naturally. As scary as it was at first, I can now get into bed and fall asleep. I can’t begin to tell you how freeing this feels after years of struggle.
If you also struggle with falling asleep because your mind can’t shut down at night, these tools should really help!
Letting go of the day journaling
It’s amazing how the little things can really make a big impact. I have no clue why this simple technique works like magic, but it does!
6. Get into bed.
This is a very relaxing breath to do before bed.
5. Repeat 9 times.
This can be another great way to unwind and relax into sleep. When I was transitioning off sleeping pills I used all three of these tools every night. Body scans are great before bed, or you can do any type of breath work for a few minutes. You can do it on your own, or use a guided meditation. I like to count my breaths. I breathe in and silently think “1,” breathe out and think “2” and follow that pattern up to ten, and then start over.
Do a Body Scan
When our bodies are tense it makes it harder for our minds to relax. I do a quick body scan each night when I get into bed to be sure that I have released any tension from the day. Here are the simple steps to do a body scan:
I hope that these tools help you to let go of your day and fall asleep faster!
Originally published at www.atozenmeditation.com on August 30, 2016.