Try some of these strategies to help you get a better sleep. Find the one(s) that work for you.
Putting any thoughts aside that are running around in your mind as you try to go to bed is a very good strategy. I recommend using The Container strategy for this. You can read up more on this in the articles section.
Using the Safe Place to calm your mind and body as you are trying to sleep can be very helpful. I recommend setting thoughts and feelings aside into The Container first and then going to your Safe Place. If you are not yet familiar with the Safe Place, please read information about this tool on the website in the articles section.
Journalling can be a very useful tool for those people that find writing to be therapeutic. My recommendation would be do some journaling earlier in the evening than just before bed to avoid having some things on your mind right before you try to go to bed. Journalling is a very good way to give you thoughts a place to go and let your mind rest. You have already done your worrying for the day.
Getting some exercise is a great way to use up any energy that is left over from your day. Walking in the evening is a good thing to do after dinner. Your body will move towards rest more easily.
- Limiting Caffeine, Sugar, Nicotine Intake
Being aware of how much caffeine, sugar, and nicotine you are having in a day is a useful tool when dealing with problems related to sleep. You may find it helpful to set a rule for yourself as to how late in the day you are able to have any coffee or tea. My recommendation would be to only allow yourself some caffeine in the morning if sleep is an issue for you as caffeine can stay in your body up to 12 hours. Trying to at least cut down on sugar and nicotine can help take the edge off of sleep disturbances.
- Limit How Late You Eat
Eating often acts as an energy source. Therefore, putting a time limit on how late you have anything to eat might help you sleep better. Perhaps no food after 9:00pm?
- Thought Stopping
Thought Stopping refers to having a new place to take your mind to when troubling thoughts want to take over. What can you think about when your mind wants to think about the stressful events of life while you are trying to fall asleep?
Finding a positive affirmation can be very helpful (Example: “I am a good person and I deserve to have a restful sleep.”). Say the affirmation over and over in your mind.
Counting down from 100 as you see the numbers in your mind is another good thought stopping strategy.
Saying one word or phrase over and over as you see the word(s) in your mind may be the right tool for you.
Numbers are very useful to help ease the mind. Try counting up to 8 over and over.
- Only Notice Your Body
Putting all of your attention on your body as it lays in your bed can help move the body towards sleep. Don’t think about anything else. Notice your legs, your back, your arms, and your head. Feel the cozy sheets and pillows.
- Only Notice Your Breathing
Being aware of your breath as your breathe in and out, tuning out everything else from your day. Feel your deep, slow breathing going into your body. Breath is very life sustaining and a useful tool (for some people) for relaxation.