The ability to sleep becomes very precious when you have had sleepless nights. The difficulty with sleep is that it is not something you can force. You can make yourself wake up by setting the alarm, but you can only allow your body to fall asleep. And that can be where the problems can start.
Your body needs the right environment to go to sleep, but you may not even realize what you did when you moved able to sleep at night. And if you did not know what you did, it is tough to turn back the clock and go to sleep quickly.
You may, or may not be able to pinpoint when you first had difficulty sleeping, but it is entirely possible that the current reason for your sleeping problem is different.
Stress may have brought your original sleeping problem and worry, an increase in coffee consumption, or a change of routine. What can also happen at that time is that your imagination starts to anticipate potential problems.
Do you find yourself worrying about whether you will be able to get to sleep as you get into bed? This can even be as strong as a sense of dread about bedtime.
Do you delay going to bed in the hope that you might be tired later?
Or do you find that your mind is overactive as you lie in bed wondering why you can’t sleep, and how tired you will be tomorrow?
You may get restless, start watching the clock and think about getting up again.
And you apparently feel like you are wasting time in bed, and could be using your time better if you got up and did something.
If your answer is yes to the above, your imagination has got you stuck on a treadmill where you think you can’t sleep, don’t know what to do, and round and round. So whatever started your insomnia has been replaced by the stress of not being able to sleep.
To be able to end sleepless nights, you will need to use your imagination in a way that can help you to go to sleep.
So how can you do that?
Because of the way that your brain works, you cannot sleep while you are stressed. Therefore you need to stop allowing your imagination to highlight you and keep you awake.
Your body needs a routine so that it knows it is time to go to sleep. Aim to have a quiet evening, with no alcohol or coffee, and exercise early in the day. Turn the TV off, read quietly, and take a hot bath or shower, to relax your body and encourage sleep.
As I said earlier, you cannot make yourself go to sleep. But you can sleep, rest and relax your body, to allow it to recover from the day. As your mind comes up with negative thoughts, think of times when you love to be in bed. This can be when it is cold outside, and you are warm and cozy, or when you have had a long active day, and your body needs a well-earned rest.
Dwell on these positive thoughts, and stay calm. Appreciate your warm bed, and the rest you are getting. If your thoughts turn to staying awake, or busy chatter, tell your mind that it is time to relax and go to sleep, and go back to your pleasant thoughts.
Being agitated, tossing and turning, and getting stressed will not put you to sleep. Instead, you are replacing the stress with thoughts that keep you relaxed and more likely to go to sleep.
Expect to wake up during the night. It is not a problem. Just go back to positive restful thoughts and give yourself the chance to fall asleep again.
Your imagination can work for or against your efforts in getting to sleep. You may not have realized the power that negative thoughts had on your ability to sleep. So now that you are aware use this same power to have a real effect to end your wakeful nights.