1. Develop good sleep habits
Develop a routine that you will easily be able to follow for 3 weeks – every night. Here are some suggestions:
- Cease watching TV, exercise, alcohol, any computer activity 30-60 mins prior to bedtime
- Have a drink
- Brush your teeth
- Play some soothing music
- Listen to Yoga Nidra
- When a sleep wave hits, act on it immediately
- Wake up at the same time and go to bed at the same time (can be difficult for shift workers)
Practice the identical routine every time it is getting close to your bed time.
Your mind and body will begin to recognise that this is time to go to sleep
2. Develop a new story about sleeping
- I’m tired
- I’m not sleeping well
- I was awake from such and such to so and so
- Today is going to be dreadful, cos I’m so tired
Say things like:
- Other people sleep ok
- I’ve slept ok in the past
- There is no reason why I should not have a good nights sleep
- I’m going to relax a bit more about this
- Be easy with myself
- My body is clever, it knows what to do
Change your story every time you realise you are thinking or complaining about your lack of sleep
3. Catching the sleep wave
If you have trouble falling asleep, or if you have trouble going back
to sleep after waking up during the night, you may want to try to tune
in to your ‘Natural Sleepiness Cycle.’ This an important concept that is not
well known. Sleepiness tends to come in waves every 60-90 minutes or
so. For example, you may have had the experience that you were reading
or doing something else, felt sleepy, decided you would ‘just finish this chapter’
…but by the time you had ‘just finished this chapter,’ you were no longer sleepy.
(Some people refer to this as ‘getting your second wind.’) This is the
Natural Sleepiness Cycle in action. During the four to six weeks of this
program, when you notice yourself getting sleepy and it is around bedtime
(but not before about 10pm), drop everything and head for bed.” (To Continue Scroll Down)
“Because sleepiness comes in these 60-90 minute waves, falling asleep is a bit
like surfing – you have to catch the wave of sleepiness.
If you miss one wave, just as in surfing, you cannot force the next wave to
come; you simply have to wait for it to arrive. The wave of sleepiness
sometimes lasts for as little as 5 or 10 minutes, which is why it is
important to drop everything as soon as you feel the wave coming on.
You will not have to ‘drop everything’ like this for the rest of your
life – just do it until you are comfortable that your sleep is back on track.
(This surfing analogy is another way of describing the ‘Natural Sleepiness Cycle’,
or ‘Ultradian Rhythm’, to give it its technical name).”
Sample from “Sleep Better Without Drugs” 4 – 6
week self-help program
This is a deeply relaxing process that will teach your mind and body how to relax and switch off.
Google Yoga Nidra and find a voice and length that works for you
Give it a go every bed time for 3 weeks
If you do wake up in the night….train yourself not to look at the clock. This will help you to stop focusing on the times you are awake.