The Secret of getting off to sleep

NLP techniques

The secret of getting off to sleep is one that eludes very many people who complain (i) that they are unable to get to sleep or, if they are able to get to sleep, (ii) they wake in the night and can’t get back to sleep. 

If you are one of those people, take comfort in the tips offered here and its sister article about sleeping well.

Each night when I go to sleep I die, and the next morning when I wake up, I am reborn


The pattern

It is unusual for me to have difficulty getting off to sleep, although it happens now and then.  How about you? 

 Do you usually sleep the night through or do you wake regularly at more or less the same time during the night?  

It happens to me from time to time, but not very often, and I have techniques for dealing with it. 

If you wake in the night, do you have trouble getting off to sleep again?  That is the part I find the most difficult although, there again, I have ways of dealing with it.

The secret of getting off to sleep

If you have difficulty getting off to sleep in the first place, it is time to investigate the cause.  

Firstly, the simple things.  Do you have a comfortable bed and a sensible pillow?  

Are you attempting to sleep in a fully darkened or partly lit room?  

Those things should be obvious but it is surprising how many people are kept awake by failing to pay attention to those matters. 

If the bed is uncomfortable, get it fixed.  If the room is not totally dark, make it totally dark.  

If you live in a country where it remains light well into the evening or you live in an area where bright lights are shining nearby, it is particularly important to use heavy dark curtains to keep the light out.  

Your mind will rest better that way and you are much more likely to drift into unconsciousness.

Noise or the lack of it are both factors that can contribute to keeping you awake.  

I grew up in the country and so naturally feel that peace and quiet are more conducive to getting off to sleep.  

My friend, Ray, lived in a house next to a railway station and was used to trains moving noisily in and out of the station all night long. 

When he first stayed at a house in the country he couldn’t get off to sleep because it was so quiet.  

It very much depends what we have become accustomed to.

These days I live in the country part of the year and in the city for the other part.  

In the city traffic is on the move for a large part of the night and sirens blare from emergency vehicles.

I used to find that very disturbing.  Now I am used to it and sleep much better although I make sure that when I am in the city I go to bed a little later so that I am really tired before I try to sleep.

The Secret of getting off to sleep – avoiding alcohol

Drinking alcohol is, for many of us, a pleasant recreational activity but it doesn’t go well with sound, undisturbed sleep.  We have to remember that it is a stimulant. 

Initially, it makes us relaxed and soporific and when we get into bed we often drop off to sleep straightaway.  

But if you drink alcohol you will be familiar with waking up bright-eyed two or three hours later and the tossing and turning that goes with it.  

When you feel like that, you had just as well get up, keep warm and do something relaxing until you feel like going back to bed again.

The secret of getting off to sleep - Sleeping Tablets

Sleeping tablets are to be avoided if at all possible.  

If medically they are absolutely necessary and your doctor advises them, then they should be taken for the shortest possible period because they are usually addictive and you will need to be weaned off them gradually.  

When you can come off them do so, and practice the tips set out in these articles.  

In any case, after a while the body gets used to them, they do not have the same efficacy and it is necessary to increase the dose to get the same effect.

What do you use the bedroom for?

The bedroom needs to be a place of rest and used for only two things.  Unless you are bedridden or sick, I suggest you do not watch television in bed. 

Likewise, if you want to read, by all means get ready for bed and read a book in your dressing gown in a different room, but not in bed.  

And unless you really must, don’t use your bedroom as a study and study late at night before trying to sleep.  

They all keep the mind active and do not lend themselves to sleep.

Remember, the bedroom is suitable for only two purposes:  sex and sleep!

The Secret of getting off to sleep - a restful mind

My son-in-law frequently complains that he cannot get to sleep even though he usually stays up until 2 o’clock or even later. 

The reason to me is obvious.  He spends the evening and early hours playing computer games and then expects to go to bed and sleep. 

But in order to play computer games his mind has to be active and it cannot just switch off at a moment’s notice and go to sleep.

So before you go to bed at night, quieten yourself down.  Get rid of the activity and ceaseless chatter in your mind by closing your eyes and imagining a state of complete oblivion and peacefulness.  Now read about sleeping well.

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