(Lying in bed awake)
Me: (to myself) I really need to sleep, I have to wake up early tomorrow morning. I don't believe it's already 2:21am. I am only going to get 3.6 hours of sleep...
(more time passes)
Me: (to myself) Why can't I sleep? I am tired. I did all the right things. Lights were dim, didn't have any caffeine, didn't do anything active in the last 3 hours ... oh wow, it's already 3:11 am. How am I going to function tomorrow...
Usually I go to bed when I can barely keep my eyes open but when I have something important to wake up for the next day and want to go to sleep early, I always find it hard to fall asleep.
It is frustrating. The more I want to sleep, the more awake I become.
I used to get up from bed and try to do some work. I know it is not good to stimulate the mind when you are trying to sleep but it seemed like a waste of time to just lie in bed awake. I would work until my eyes became heavy and then go to bed. The next morning I would have a hard time waking up and be easily distracted all day. It was becoming a barrier in my life (click here to read The Three Reasons Why You Should Sleep More) and to my success (click here to read How to Sleep Your Way to Success).
Luckily for me (and you), I found a technique that has worked very well to help me sleep. It is easy and effective and you don't need to buy anything special. The great thing is that this technique is still good even if you don't fall asleep.
Still interested? Keep reading ...
If you have no problems sleeping, feel free to scroll down to the comments section and share your own tips.
For the rest of you who are still reading so you can get to bed, here is what you can to do to fall asleep faster:
1. Goto bed and lie down on your back with your arms at your sides
2. Be fully aware of your breathing (in and out). Notice your abs moving up and down with your breath.
3. Once you are aware of your breath, pay attention to a part of your body when breathing in and relax that part when you breathe out. Start from the top of your body and repeat the process of awareness then relaxation for each body part all the way to the bottom (head -> eyes -> nose -> mouth -> shoulders -> chest -> stomach -> thighs -> calves -> feet -> toes).
I usually fall asleep fairly quickly. I don't remember ever going past the shoulder.
This deep relaxation exercise helps to keep my mind from wandering and at the same time serves to relax my body. I use it all the time now and it works. The next time you can't fall asleep, relax deeply by being mindful and then letting go of each part of your body.
This method is so effective that I almost fell asleep writing this article.
I'm not kidding.
Robert Chen is the founder of Embrace Possibility and author of The Dreams to Reality Fieldbook. He helps people who feel stuck move forward by guiding them to see other possibilities for their lives. He specializes in working with high performers get to the next level. If you're going through a tough time right now, check out Robert's article on How to Feel Better Right Away and if you're having trouble getting what you want out of life, check out How to Always Achieve Your Goals.