February 26, 2012
Posted by: Tony in Blog
Tina would count herself lucky if she got six hours’ sleep a night. She was always busy, and often didn’t even seem to have eight hours left in the day to actually shut her eyes and get some sleep. But even more than that, once she turned the light out, her mind would race with all her worries and problems, and it would regularly take her hours to drop off.
We’ve all had this at some point. Many people say it’s not that they don’t allow enough time for sleep, it’s just that when they actually get into bed, their mind starts racing. And then they feel more awake and alert than they have all day.
The following is taken from my book Relax in a minute. It is one of the easiest and most effective sleep techniques you'll ever use.
Get some Zzzzzs
The secret is to clear your mind to prepare for a deep rest.
When you are ready for sleep, work out how many hours you’d like to sleep for. This number is important and I’ll refer to it as ‘Z’ in the technique. If you want eight hours’ sleep, then Z = 8. If you have set the alarm for six hours, then Z = 6. If you want to sleep for six-and-a-half hours, then round it up so Z = 7. And make sure you set an alarm.
So just to be clear, when Z is referred to in this technique, it refers to the number of hours you’re going to sleep for.
- Be still. Notice (Z) things that you can see. Go slowly, concentrating on every one.
- Notice (Z) things that you can hear. Again, go slowly.
- Now notice (Z) things that you can feel or touch. For example, it might be the temperature of the air, the duvet on your back, the feeling of the sheet against your skin.
- Now shut your eyes and continue the process, seeing in your mind (Z) things in the room you could previously see. Notice (Z) things you can hear, and (Z) things you can feel. Make them different things on each round (1 minute)
Yes, it's supposed to be difficult - and fully occupy your mind. If your mind wanders, start the full minute again. This is important.
Once you manage a full minute of this, it will usually be enough to take you into a nice, relaxed, different state.
After the full minute, you’ll find you are mentally prepared for sleep. But you must complete the full minute.
Back to Tina. She had been running through all her problems in her mind when the light went out. As soon as she started getting some Zzzzs though, things changed. She started to clear her mind before sleep and more often than not, after one minute of doing this, she was ‘chilled out enough to drop off’. That’s what you want.
Enjoy, and sleep deeply.
Just before I go, I was very honoured to be nominated for an Audies award this week (the Oscars of audiobooks). But I face tough competition - Jane Fonda is nominated in the same category! Full details here...