If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had trouble getting to sleep before. Sometimes going to bed and just lying there for hours before falling asleep. Or waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep.
And yet, I knew not everyone was like this. I was envious of people that could seem to fall asleep just about anywhere. Head on the pillow (or even while just waiting at the airport!) and they’d be out like a light.
One helpful idea I learned in Paul McKenna’s book I Can Make You Sleep goes like this: when trying to go to sleep, think about sleeping. Thinking about other things can just keep you awake.
The problem I had was that I would think about other things – going over the events of the day, worrying about the future, beneficial future possibilities and more. These things would increase anxiety or excitement and generally just keep me thinking.
So while I still experience some of my old habits, I quite regularly think about how nice it feels to lie down, how relaxed I can be if I let all of the muscles in my body go limp and how deep I can sink into my mattress.
Simply changing my thoughts to thinking about sleep has helped me immensely.
It’s probably also wise to make your sleeping environment reasonably comfortable and free from distractions. For example, good quality linen can feel nice to the skin and ear plugs can come in handy when someone in the neighbourhood is having a rather loud party.
Not getting quality sleep will affect both your happiness and health, so if you are having trouble getting to sleep, it may be worth looking into it sooner rather than later.