Actually, I can and I do. I realize it’s a gift. My head hits the pillow and I generally don’t wake up till morning. It’s one of those things I might take for granted, if it weren’t for the occasional restless night.
A few days ago, a friend was telling me how he couldn’t sleep. “I fall asleep, no problem. Then at 2 or 3 in the morning, I wake up and that’s it! I’m done! I toss and turn and drive myself crazy EVERY night!” He was clearly frustrated and worried about what the lack of sleep was doing to him. I gave him an idea I thought might help. He called me yesterday and said “I have to thank you. I took your suggestion and it’s amazing! I’m still waking up, but I’m falling back to sleep quickly and I feel SO much better in the morning. I’m a new man!”
So here’s what I suggested:
1. Right before you go to sleep, write down 5 things you feel grateful for
2. If/when you wake up don’t panic!
3. If you can’t fall back to sleep, focus on the 5 things you wrote down and choose 1 to really zoom in on
4. Quit talking about how you can’t sleep!
Not being able to sleep is a double-edged sword (don’t ALL swords have double edges? Hmmmm…) because not only are you not getting the sleep you want and need, but you’re using that time to think anxious thoughts about not being able to sleep. Oy vey!
Here’s why I believe this technique works.
First, if your last activity of the day is thinking about what you appreciate, you’re ending your day by sending out a very nice signal~I AM GRATEFUL!
Second, (and this is really powerful) if we have trouble getting back to sleep, it tends to send our mind into overdrive, bordering on panic. We get angry that we can’t sleep. We start watching the clock and worry that we’re going to be tired tomorrow. We’re in an anxious state, which is a very low frequency vibration ~YUK!!! If we consciously choose to think of the things we wrote down and then choose to laser focus on one, although we may still be awake (frustrating) our thoughts are only those of gratitude (relaxing).
At first, your subconscious mind will do its’ best to interrupt your calm, relaxed, grateful thinking with reminders of how late it is and how tired you’re gonna be and how much it stinks being awake at 3AM and how maybe you should see the doctor and get some sleeping pills. Just stick with it, because here’s the good news~Your conscious mind gets to choose what thoughts you entertain. Conscious thoughts trump subconscious thoughts, so choose the good ones.
Think of anything and everything related to something on your list. How do you spell it? What does the word look like? What is the definition of the word? What happened that day that made you choose it as something you were grateful for? Replay that scene in your mind until you can see it as clearly as if it were happening. How do you FEEL thinking about that person, place or thing? Ahhhhhh…..yawn…….zzzzzzzzzzz
Gratitude overcomes frustration every time, even at 3AM. The other bonus is you will probably wake up remembering your grateful thinking, and I can’t think of a better way to start the day.