Have you ever found yourself tossing and turning during the night? Or found that as soon as your head hits the pillow, the brain doesn’t stop?
You know that sleep wants to come but the brain just wants to think about mundane things, reviewing the day and solving the problems of the world.
When we lose awareness of the present moment our minds can get stuck in repetitive thinking. You might be trying to get to sleep but your mind gets lost thinking about all the things you have to do during the week, shopping lists or that conversation you had earlier today with a colleague or friend. Deep relaxed breathing is forgotten. And once you realise that sleep is not coming, your muscles tense and your thoughts shift to ‘I’m not falling asleep’ to ‘I can’t sleep.’ ‘I won’t be able to function tomorrow’ The body tenses up, breathing and heart rate both quicken and falling asleep becomes more difficult.
Here are grounding techniques that can help you get some quality shut-eye:
- Dim the lights one hour before bedtime and start winding down the brain and body by engaging in relaxing activities.
- Avoid watching anything with a screen. Stowaway your phone, computer and TV as the light can keep your brain awake and alert.
- Ten minutes before bedtime, begin a mindfulness exercise. Get into a comfortable position in a dimly lit room. Feel into your body and notice where it touches the chair, floor or bed and becoming aware of where there is more pressure and where there is less. Begin to tune into your body and scan it from the head to the toes and along the limbs. Notice any areas of tightness in the body and breath into these areas without judgment, just observing, breathing and feeling into the body as it becomes lighter and more relaxed. Breath slowly and deeply, breath in a sense of calm, and breath out any tension you may be feeling.
- If your mind begins to wander, notice when it begins to wander and gently bring it back on track. Try to avoid judging yourself – the mind will indeed wander, the skill is getting it back on track.
- Get into bed and focus on your breath. See your thoughts as clouds in the sky drifting past one by one without attaching to any of them. Just observe in a detached way as they drift on by.
- Practice some restorative yoga before bedtime. A simple Childs Pose or Legs up the Wall are both very calming poses, helping to slow down the nervous system and activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Listen to calming and soothing solfeggio music or nature sounds preferably with headphones and allow your mind to merge into the calmer brainwave states such as Alpha and Theta.
To help you sleep we have created a relaxing selection of nature sounds and mediation music available on Spotify or any other major streaming channels.
Sleep well x