Troubles sleeping can be caused by many things in your life. Stress, sickness, conflicts, excessive joys and excitement. Regardless of the reason why you are having trouble sleeping, it can negatively effect your life. In order to function properly and control our impulses we need to get our zzz's! Even I get more irritable and short fused when I haven't been able to sleep properly the night before...let's not even talk about the times when sleep evades me more long-term!! It's scary!
Luckily, those sleepless nights are far and few between for me now. I teach and practise this wonderful little trick called....meditation! Yes, yes, yes, I know, you are thinking "I don't have the time to sit on the floor and chant weird words like some monk." I get this all the time from my clients but guess what?! I can teach you a different way to meditate that'll have you sleeping like a baby (after the newborn, wake up and cry every 4 hours stage)! I promise, just follow these simple instructions:
1. Get into your favorite, comfy, cozy sleeping position.
2. Focus on your toes...the very tips of your toes. Imagine that they are relaxing. All of the negative, stressful energy is leaving your toes and they are now relaxed. Feel the relaxation in every digit. Stay with your toes until you feel that they are completely relaxed.
3. Focus on the arch of your foot. Imagine the same relaxing state. Feel the relaxation creeping up from your toes to the arch of your foot. Sit it the awesome feeling of relaxation of your toes and the arch of your feet for awhile. Enjoy it.
4. Move up your body slowly. Relax every part of your body. This a slow process. Enjoy the state of relaxation of every part that you work through. If you are having a difficult time with intruding thoughts, just push them aside and refocus.
I doubt that you'll even make it past your hips before you are out like a light!!
Why does it work? First of all, our brain doesn't have the capacity to tell the difference between real and imaginary. Just by imagining that you are relaxed, you are sending signals to your brain to relax those parts of your body. If you want a more scientific explanation, look up the PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) - a very interesting area of our brains (and extremely important area for anger management, I might add!).
Secondly, by focusing on something as simple as the relaxation of your toes, ankles, legs, etc., you are taking your mind off of the impeding thoughts and stresses that are robbing you of your zzz's.
Now here's the kicker! The more you practise this, the faster you will be able to relax and pass out! I use this technique almost daily and I'm out cold quickly now-a-days! Try it! I promise that you won't be disappointed!
I am the founder of The Anger Managers, a clinic that provides court-approved psycho-educational courses and workshops to individuals and corporations