Do you fall asleep immediately after lying in bed at night, or do thoughts and worries occupy your mind and do not let you sleep?
Do you find it hard to ignore your thoughts and worries?
While lying in bed at night, it is quiet and dark, there are fewer outside distractions, and therefore, you are more aware of the thoughts that occupy your mind. You might feel, as if your mind is full of thoughts which do not give you a moment’s rest, especially if you are experiencing some problems in your life.
- If you don’t feel good, you will probably think about your health.
- If you have problems at work, then thoughts about these problems will probably flood your mind.
- A student might be troubled by thoughts about his teachers or examinations.
- A businessman might have fears or worries about his business.
- If you have money problems, thoughts about lack of money might disturb your mind.
The thoughts, worries and fears that are usually repressed during the day, surface up and swarm the mind.
What would be willing to do to free yourself from these nibbling, restless thoughts that prevent you from falling asleep?
Wouldn’t you be happy if you could silence all the thoughts that pop up when you are in bed?
If you fight these thoughts and try to stop them forcefully, they will grow stronger, because you will be giving them the fuel of your attention.
If you wish to get rid of a tree growing in your garden, cutting a few branches will not help. It will grow again quite fast. To get rid of it you will have to stop irrigating the tree. This will make it gradually wither.
You need to treat your thoughts and fears in the same manner. In order to weaken and stop your bothering thoughts and fears you have to ignore them, which is equivalent to stopping giving water to the tree.
A good night’s sleep is important for your health. It is no less important than eating or exercising your body.
If you deprive yourself of enough sleep you weaken your mind and body, and might hurt your health.
Tips to Help You Fall Asleep
Here are 9 tips to help you ignore the thoughts and fears that prevent you from falling asleep at night.
1. Go to bed at a reasonable hour, not too early and not too late. Go to bed before you feel exhausted and too tired.
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2. Lie down on your bed and relax your body. For 2-3 minutes, pay attention to every part of your body and relax it. Fix your attention for a few seconds on each part and muscle and relax it, before moving to the next. If you feel that you are falling asleep while relaxing your body, don’t fight it, in order to go on with relaxing your body, just let sleep take over
3. If you have not fallen asleep yet, the next step would be to watch your thoughts. Just let thoughts flow freely in your mind while watching them dispassionately. Watch these thoughts, as they come and go, without trying to follow them, analyze them, or pay them special attention.
Tell yourself that if some of these thoughts are important and require your attention, you will think about them tomorrow, not now.
Have a pencil and paper by your bed, and if one of the thoughts is too insistent and does not leave you, write it down so that you can remember to think about it the next day.
4. Try to observe your thoughts with lack of interest. Lack of interest is the magic tool when it comes to controlling and silencing thoughts. Do not let your feelings to be aroused and manipulated by your thoughts. Just look at your thoughts as they come and go, with detachment and lack of interest.
5. If thoughts still come, and they probably will, it is all right. Don’t fight them, but just strive calmly to ignore them. An ignored thought, ultimately, goes away.
Your attention gives fuel to your thoughts. If you ignore them, you deprive them of your energy and they get weak and disappear. Don’t worry if you fail to ignore your thoughts over and again. Keep on trying, and the situation will improve.
It will be easier to ignore thoughts, while you are in bed trying to sleep, if you watch the thoughts that enter your mind, as if watching a boring and uninteresting movie. This will weaken them and make them disappear.
6. Do your best to avoid overthinking, this habit of repeating the same thought and discussing it over and again. It is a waste of time and energy and a sure way to prevent you from falling asleep.
One way to avoid overthinking is to replace these repetitive and useless thoughts with positive thoughts. Shift your attention to good thoughts. Occupy your mind with happy thoughts while waiting to sleep to come. Think of happy past events and on joyful moments from the past.
7. There is another thing that you can do, and that is to practice meditation every day. After practicing meditation for some time, it will start affecting your sleep in a good way. As your mind becomes quieter, due to the meditation, there would be ewer thoughts and worries to disrupt your sleep.
As a by-product of meditation, your mind will get accustomed to being relaxed and at peace, and when you go to sleep, it will be much easier to ignore persistent and disturbing thoughts. In fact, you might fall asleep immediately upon switching off the light.
Good sleep is important for physical, mental and emotional health. It is important for concentration, efficiency and peace of mind. It should be one of your main goals to have a good sleep every night.
I hope that you will find these simple tips useful.
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
– Benjamin Franklin
“Sleep is an investment in the energy you need to be effective tomorrow.”
– Tom Roth
“When I want to go to sleep, I must first get a whole menagerie of voices to shut up. You wouldn’t believe what a racket they make in my room.
– Karl Kraus