Nodding off .. 3 mindfulness tips by Adrian Wright
Nodding Off! Three Mindful Tips
Struggling to get to sleep can be one of the most common and frustrating experiences for us humans. I used to be a terrible sleeper and once I started practising mindfulness it vastly improved.
I’m still not a ‘falling asleep before my head’s hit the pillow’ kind of person but I find it much easier to nod off and, just as importantly, if I can’t fall asleep it causes me no stress.
So, three tips:
1. Let thoughts pass and enter your body
As you know, when you can’t fall asleep, the mind has a plethora of random thoughts it likes
to fire your way. However, you can let these thoughts pass, for example by imagining them
as passing clouds or as buses and then practise getting off the bus once you realise you’re on it! In addition, it can really help to bring awareness to the body. When we do this, we often find more tension than we realised and that tension is sure to keep you awake. Just bringing attention to the body can help to release physical tightness and tension.
2. Learn yourself
Be mindful of the lead up to sleep. It’s common knowledge, screens and caffeine keep us
awake, but rather than accepting what the science tells us about when we should have our last cuppa or the last check of texts or emails, find this out for yourself. Become really
attuned to the effect caffeine and screens are having on ‘you’, not on the general public.
Having a notepad by the bed can also be useful for jotting down last thoughts at the end of
the day but, again, try it and see if it works for you.
3. Acceptance and Letting Go
This is the one I’ve found most useful. It may sound paradoxical, but simply accept you may
never be a great sleeper. Once you let go of pressurising yourself to fall asleep one of two
things tend to happen: either you fall asleep anyway because you’ve let go of mental stress;
or, you don’t fall asleep but at least you’re calm about this. You can practise a breathing
meditation or a body scan. It’s surprising how restful these meditations can be. And, I often
find if I don’t get much sleep one night, I have a longer sleep the next so it balances out.
Hope that helps, please call TLC