Some Tips to Help You Sleep
I love my creative mind but when it kicks on at 2 a.m. I want to take it out and throw it across the room so I can sleep.
It’s a gift, I know, to be able to fall asleep quickly and I do most of the time, at great annoyance to my wife. But staying asleep or going to bed “too tired to sleep” is when I sometimes need help.
Here are some tips I have gathered, or created, that I have used and shared with others who tell me they work.
THE HOLO DECK
Just as it’s name implies, it’s a Star Trek thing. For non-trekkies, it’s a place where anything can be created from far away planets, to bars, to beaches.
To get to mine, I imagine walking down a flight of ten stairs counting backwards from ten as I do. Once at the bottom, I step into a hallway and see the entrance to the holodeck. (Google it)
I then ask the computer to create the room in my head. It then confirms it and the doors slide open to reveal the place I go to relax.
This can literally be anything you want so get creative in your imagination. Once in the room, you can control it however you see fit. I sometimes imagine visiting with a friend and as we are talking I drift off.
I read somewhere that this is a trick used by members of the military when they return from some mission and are really jacked up and can’t sleep.
Don’t be fooled by it’s simplicity, it works!
All you do is repeat to yourself, over and over “Don’t think” and if any other thoughts try to push in, push them out by yelling it out in your head.
If you are like me, you need a visual aid as well because I can be saying “Don’t think” and have images flash through my head at the same time. In those cases, I see it as a flashing sign with the words written on it lighting up each time I say it in my mind.
I have also envisioned it as looking down at a conveyor belt with folded newspapers on it getting stamped with the giant headline “DON’T THINK” on it as each paper goes by.
Adjusting the rhythm of how you say it can also aid in it’s effectiveness.
A friend just turned me onto this one and I thought it was strange enough to try. I was amazed at how well it worked!
Imagine spelling out the word “THE” over and over again. Again, I sometimes visualize the letters each time with one being replaced by the other.
After many repetitions of the full word, drop the “T” and start spelling “HE” over and over. What happens is, the rhythm naturally changes as you almost gear down from 3 letters to two. Continue this for a while.
Then you switch again and lose the “H” and are just left with the letter “E” over and over.
There are many times I never get to just the “E” alone.
THE FULL BODY STRETCH
It’s more than that. I imagine my body being covered in a mist, the perfect temperature and color. I start at my feet, feeling it not just around my body, but completely through it.
As this encasing glow of light I imagine begins to envelop me, I tighten up the muscle group where it is. As it hits my feet, I curl my toes, “squeeze” my feet as much as I can and hold it for a few seconds.
As I relax the mist moves on up to my ankles, then my shins and calfs and so on. With each pass, I tighten and hold, then relax.
Find what works for you where you direct this mist to go.
Once it’s on your face, squeeze your eyes shut, flare your nostrils, yawn, and stretch your face. Feel it go over your head and seal you in.
As it does, do one, full body stretch, tightening every thing you can with a big, deep breath, then exhale and relax.
This is a good tool to warm up to the other mental exercises I have mentioned.
I’m not a sleep expert or anything like that. I’m just someone who uses these little tricks to put me back in slumber land when my mind decides it’s time to solve the problems of my day.
Let me know if they work for you!