How to Improve Your Sleep
I’m having trouble sleeping
I take hours to fall asleep
I keep waking up through the night
I wake up in the very early hours of the morning and then can’t get back to sleep
I hardly sleep at all
These are a few of the statements I hear all too often. So, if going to bed early is not enough what else can we do to improve our sleep so we feel better and function as best we can throughout the day?
What are you telling yourself?
Before you get into bed at night and then while you are waiting to drift off to sleep have you thought about what you are telling yourself? Have a think of what you are saying in your head (or out loud)
Is it positive? Is it useful? And ultimately, is what you are saying going to help you to sleep?!!
Often, we don’t take much notice of our self-talk, but it is so important. Negative words lead to negative results.
If you are lying there saying “I can’t sleep!” or “Oh god I’ve been lying here for ages and I still haven’t got to sleep” or “I’m never going to get to sleep tonight!” then you are setting yourself up for a sleepless night.
Your unconscious mind does not process negative words very well. It needs clear instructions from you to know what to do. By changing your self-talk to something more positive with a clear instruction or suggestion in there would really help. For example, “I’m going to fall asleep” or “I’m feeling tired now” or “I will start to drift off to sleep in half an hour” Try this and notice the difference.
Get what’s in your head, out
So, you get into bed with a load of “stuff” from throughout the day whizzing through your head. You lie down and start to get comfy and cosy and all you can think about is stuff that happened earlier in the day, conversations, arguments, situations, and that’s without all the stuff that you are already thinking about for tomorrow!! How on earth is your brain supposed to relax and then sleep with everything whizzing round?! You need to move all the stuff out of your head to enable you to relax.
Have a little notebook next to your bed. Write down anything that you that you need to do/focus on/think about or act on tomorrow and any little reminders of stuff from the day.
Once you’ve made that list, start to write down anything that comes into your head. It doesn’t have to be full sentences, if all that comes are words then that is fine. When you stop writing, just do a check and ask yourself “Anything else?” and if anything comes then just write that down too. Keep asking “Anything else” until there is nothing else to write.
Then put the pen and book down and notice how your head is much clearer and you are able to relax and drift off to sleep.
What is in need of your attention?
Sometimes if you are waking up in the middle of the night, or at the same time every night this is your unconscious mind’s way of asking you to notice or pay attention to something. Maybe you have been neglecting an area of your life which needs your attention, maybe you are ready to acknowledge something that has been worrying you. Maybe it’s something more practical like a food you are eating is affecting your sleep.
So how we find out if this is relevant? We ask ourselves.
Below are some examples of questions you can ask yourself:
“IS there anything that my unconscious mind wants me to pay attention to, that by paying attention to it would help improve my sleep?”
“For what purpose am I waking up at (for example) 4am in the morning?”
“What needs to happen for me to have a great night’s sleep?”
Make note of whatever comes into your head. Acknowledge it, think about it, sleep on it……
Things are always much clearer after a good night’s sleep.
Drop me a message if you want to know more about your unconscious mind and how it can help you sleep.