It can be hard to fall asleep when you have so much on your mind. You are distracted by all of these thoughts running in your head that you forget to breathe, your body seizes up, and your breathing and heart rate quicken. By using mindfulness, you will be aware of your body and will naturally let those thoughts go away so you can get a good night’s rest.
The first thing you should do is remember how to breathe again. Take five deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Be aware of your lungs filling up with air and your chest expanding. When you breathe out, imagine your thoughts and feelings disappear and the tension melting away. Check in on your mind and body and let your thoughts flow. As uncomfortable and irritating as these thoughts may be, do not try to resist them.
An hour before it is time to go to bed, dim the lights low. Try not to look at anything that has a screen like a phone, tablet, television or computer or you will be kept even more awake and alert. Imagine and trace the outline of your body in a chair. Be aware of the amount of pressure that you feel against the chair. Be aware of your head touching the back of the chair, how heavy it feels against the chair or the air, and then move onto your ear, shoulder, arm, leg, and foot.
Next, think of the other side of the body and continue to do this for five more minutes. Take a few minutes to go through the entire day in a series of snapshots. Try not to get distracted in thinking of new thoughts but focus on what happened today. Give your body permission to switch off for the night and let your body know that it is not needed until the morning. Enjoy the sensation of being free of this tension and of giving up control of your body. Keep repeating this exercise for every time that you have trouble falling asleep. It is best to do this exercise when you first start the day and then ending the day so you can begin and end each day feeling calm and centered. No one should end their day feel stressed out. Practicing mindfulness will help you be aware of your surroundings and sleep peacefully.
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us 888-570-7154 at as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.