What we see in our mind’s eye is so important when it comes to sleep. If we watch the clock and imagine how shattered we’re going to be the next day, what a big disaster that presentation / interview / being patient with the kids will be as a result, we’re contributing to a vicious cycle.
It’s likely to make sleep almost physiologically impossible as we can’t go into rest/digest mode when we’re in fight/flight.
Today’s video has a simple tip to help you think about something – the next day or anything else – panning out as well as you can imagine. Simply visualising all going smoothly, step by step, will help you anticipate any issues in advance and handle them with ease AND prepare your body for a good night’s sleep as moving from thought based brain activity to a more visual mode helps the body know it’s time for sleep.
I imagine counting sheep became so popular because they’re easy to visualise (although I used to stress about ANYthing number related so when my insomnia was terrible – from primary school until my 20s – counting sheep didn’t help me).
If you enjoy counting, it doesn’t have to be cute, fluffy, adorable sheep. It could be anything you like.
As with everything, visualisation is a practice but the more we do it, the easier it becomes.
Alternatively, next time you’re lying in bed awake and want to sleep, think about something you WANT.
It might even be an image of you feeling rested and refreshed and energised the next day or even one of you sleeping deeply and peacefully.
It might be something completely unrelated to sleep. An image of yourself or your kid graduating or visiting a far flung much dreamed of place and having an amazing time.
It could be picturing yourself with someone you have a challenging relationship with and instead of the usual going round in circles about why they’re so difficult, you might want to imagine you both happy and well in each other’s company (or maybe happy and well and far away from each other).
How do you feel as you tap into this energy of what you want?
Does it make you smile more than those old images of Future You feeling exhausted and frazzled?
It’s a small thing, a simple thing and an effective step you can take to contribute to better sleep.
You can download more ideas to help you sleep well below with my 33 Ways to Sleep Well pdf.
You can also book (I have a few spaces left) for Saturday’s Sleep Yoga workshop at the Republic of Fitness if you’re local enough to Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland.
It’s just two hours but you’ll learn ways in which you can become friendlier with your body and mind to better support sleep, do some gentle yoga and then indulge in a bespoke 30 minute yoga nidra to help you relax more deeply (30 minutes is said to equal 2 hours’ sleep so while the aim is to stay awake and alert while relaxing into it, if you DO sleep, it’s still beneficial).