Mind racing, hot then cold then hot again. We’ve all been there at one time or another. Some of us are always struggling every night to get to sleep. I usually don’t have any trouble staying asleep once I fall asleep, but the falling asleep can be the issue. People roll their eyes at the classic “close your eyes and count sheep” advice.
But have you actually really ever tried it?
Not actually visualizing fluffy, white sheep but just counting. Start at 1 and just keep counting until you fall asleep. If you can count 1 count with every breath, then that is probably most relaxing, but if not, just close your eyes and count at whatever pace is comfortable. Sometimes I am asleep by 100, sometimes I’ve gotten up to the 600’s and am still awake. The point of the counting is it prevents your mind from racing or thinking of anything else while trying to slip off to dreamland.
Now sometimes, for me, counting isn’t enough. Occasionally, my eyelids will just not stay closed. That probably sounds weird, but then again, maybe it doesn’t’.
For most nights now, I picked up one of those sleep masks. Mine is an Alaska Bear silk mask in black that I picked up from amazon.com They come in different patterns like polka dots, do not disturb, and starry night.
$9.99 at Amazon.com
A mask is really great because it forces my eyes to stay shut when they don’t want to. Once I can get my eyeballs to stay closed, then I start counting starting at 1. This usually works wonders for me.
Other good sleep habits are:
- Keep room as dark as possible or wear a sleep mask
- Put away all phones, tablets, e-readers, computers, turn off tv’s 30 minutes ahead to prepare mind for sleep
- Try not to eat or drink too close to bedtime.
If you are still having trouble sleeping, falling and staying asleep, certainly speak with your healthcare provider for a thorough check up.