You likely don't need me to convince you of the fact that sleep is a beautiful thing.
Not only is it quite comfortable and cozy, it's also the core activity responsible for helping us to recharge and reset daily.
While some of us have little to no issue with not only falling asleep in our beds at night but also pretty well anywhere we can "safely" close our eyes, there are also quite a few of us that struggle to get the shut-eye that we need.
And while all insomnia is undoubtedly frustrating to deal with, it can be particularly challenging when you know you need the rest, but the second your head hits the pillow your mind opts to kick into overdrive.
It reminds me of animated meme I saw a couple of years back but haven't been able to find since. On the left side of this graphic it has the outline of a person standing up with their emotions (which were represented by a liquid) filling the lower half of their body. On the right side, it showed the same person now lying down in bed, however this time because of the horizontal nature of this position all of their emotions now fill a portion of their entire body -playfully representing how our minds have a tendency to kick in at night.
As someone who has been kept up by my mind on far too many occasions to count, here are the 3 things that I've found to be the most helpful in helping me fall asleep faster and ultimately get a better night's sleep:
1. Put Down Your Phone
The first decision that I've found to be incredibly helpful at getting me to sleep faster at night, is to not end my night by being on my phone. I know that we are all addicted to varying degrees and smartphones only become more capable and therefore appealing, but their potential negative impact on our sleep is becoming clearer by the day.
My daily goal is to put all devices away at least one hour before bed. Of course, there are a number of occasions where this simply isn't possible, and that's why I also suggest that you consider investing in a pair of blue light blocking glasses. For more information on what these glasses do and to read about my experience with them be sure to check out THIS ARTICLE that I wrote solely about them.
Since writing that article I now wear my blue light blocking glasses daily, including right now as I type out this article.
Before you ho and hum at the idea of meditation being presented to you yet again as the solution to another common issue, hear me out. One of the biggest rejections I often hear from those who don't meditate is that when they've tried that can't seem to focus and as a result often fall asleep. Given the purpose of this article can I safely say case closed?
While I often opt to guide myself through my bedtime meditation I'd also like to recommend a great guided meditation specifically designed to help you sleep by the Director of Mindfulness at UCLA. And guess what? It's FREE! Check it out HERE.
3. Write It Out
The last tool I'd like to suggest is nightly journaling. If that doesn't sound particularly appealing to you, instead think of it as a mind dump. I personally love to just let my mind say everything it wants to with no structure so that it feels heard, but I've also done things as simple as what's suggest in The 5 Minute Journal where you simply end your day by writing out some awesome things that happened over the course of the day, and some quick things you could have done better.
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