sleep, Elusive sleep!
Do you find yourself crawling into bed at night, exhausted from your hectic day, only to find yourself lying awake for what feels like hours, running over the day’s events in your mind? Do you lie in bed thinking about all the things that were on your to-do-list that you didn’t get to? Or perhaps you lie in bed worrying about finances, or job security. There are so many things to keep your exhausted mind ticking over, eluding much needed sleep!
What if I told you, that by making a few small changes to your bedtime routine, you could easily fall asleep, drifting into beautiful, restorative dream filled sleep? Read on; that’s exactly what I’m going to teach you to do!
Firstly, turn off the TV! You heard me. And while you’re at it, turn your computer off too. It’s a scientific fact that these things stimulate the brain, something that isn’t really conducive with sleep. At least an hour before bedtime, give your brain a break, and a chance to slow down and prepare for sleep. This is a great opportunity to spend time on something you find relaxing, whether that means picking up a good book, building a model airplane; anything you find enjoyable and relaxing.
Now comes what some people find a little difficult in the beginning (trust me, it gets easier; I promise). If you’ve spent years using bedtime as an opportunity to beat yourself up about all the little things you didn’t manage to squeeze into your busy day, this can be a little bit of a challenge: patting yourself on the back for everything you did accomplish! Sounds easy right? It is. Simply change your mindset from one of focusing on the negative, to focusing on the positives from your day. Take this time to be kind to yourself (you deserve it you know), and to congratulate yourself for what you did get done instead of what you didn't. If you find this infinitely difficult to do at first, make it something as simple as, “I got out of bed this morning”. Think of at least 3 things that you accomplished that day. If your mind starts to wander to where it used to go, recognize what is happening and simply refocus your attention back to what you accomplished that day. The key here is to keep your thoughts positive as you drift off to sleep.
Not only will positive thoughts help you fall asleep quicker, they also give your subconscious mind positive things to focus on while you sleep and dream. When we fill our minds full of negativity as we drift off to sleep, guess what our subconscious mind focuses on? Guess what negative thoughts bring to your life? More negativity. Our subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined, so it believes whatever you tell it. You keep telling yourself that you are a failure because you didn’t complete your to-do-list that day and guess what? You become what you think / believe you are!
So, you’ve ended your day on a positive note by focusing on what you accomplished; how do you carry that into your morning routine? Well, I highly recommend starting a gratitude journal. What is a gratitude journal you ask? Well, it is quite simply a journal that you write in each morning, listing at least 3 things you are grateful for. Want to add to that? Try adding something about the significant people in your life; spouse, kids, parents…I add one thing I am grateful for about my husband and daughters. Why do I do this? Well, have you ever been ticked off at your spouse, or one of your kids? By finding something about that person that you are grateful for, is a great way of taking the focus off what they did to annoy you and firmly places the focus on one of the many, many things you love about them.
It takes 21 days to form a habit...try this out for the next 21 days and it will naturally become a part of your daily routine. In addition to forming a positive new habit, you will be amazed at how your outlook on life will change for the better, making you happier, healthier and more well rested! What do you have to lose by trying?