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How To Fall Asleep Tips – Guest Blog

How To Fall Asleep

Do you know how to fall asleep? It may seem like common knowledge since we did all learn it in our very first days on earth. But how do we really travel to the land of nod? If you are a serial sheep counter like me then you would have tried every trick in the book to get some shut-eye at a normal time, but could there be just a simple trick to teach us how to fall asleep faster? Our guest blogger Charlotte Cook finds out…

Charlotte is a blogger, homemaker, baker, coffee addict, and creative mind who writes the blog The Ramblings Of Lottie. Enjoy!

How To Fall Asleep – Tackling your Sleep Demon by Charlotte Cook

Do you know that voice in your head that only seems to pop up as you close your eyes and rest your head to sleep? That small amount of anxiety that only seems to surface when you’re trying to end the day? That’s, what I call, a Sleep Demon. It’s like a sinister and malevolent version of your voice and if you allow it, it will manifest into a presence that sits heavy on your chest. In times of stress or fatigue, it becomes a regular visitor. It’s so familiar, you expect it. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, how much you have looked forward to getting some much-needed shut-eye *poof* there it is.

How it starts…

It might creep in with something innocent like “Did you put the bins out?” Yep, green. I remember. “Did you lock the front door?” Yes, I locked it after I got home. “That’s good because imagine what could happen if you didn’t…” I shut my eyes and try to think of something else. “Robber, murderer, you might even come downstairs in the morning to a drunk man asleep on the sofa. He might get violent. He might have a knife” The door is locked, go to sleep. 

The worst part is, it’s apart of you so it knows your darkest secrets, it knows what is most important to you and it knows your weaknesses.  “Is the baby asleep?” Yes, so I can relax now. “Are you sure she’s asleep? Are you sure she’s breathing?” I check. Yes, she is. “Imagine if she wasn’t?” No. Think about something else. We’re going to take her swimming next week, that’ll be fun. “Hope she doesn’t drown”. She won’t! I will be there. “What if someone takes her away from you?” I crumble. You win.

And it snowballs…

After a while, it just punches me in the gut, gives me an upper hook at the sound of the bell. Doesn’t bother easing me in, just goes for the knockout. “What are you doing with your life? You’re broke. What if you never make it? What if you have to go back to doing jobs that you hate and you spiral into depression again? You can’t do anything right.” Then, I find myself laying there, the monster on my chest, unable to breathe in the darkness. Paralyzed. Wide awake. Suffocating. Feeling like I have been buried alive in the place I should feel at peace and revitalized.

How to Fall Asleep: Push That Sleep Demon Away…

Positivity

Demons hate it. Try to picture a ball of white light coming out of your chest and slowly expanding until you are surrounded by the light and then expanding further until it fills the entire room. Alternatively, try to picture the chaos inside your head like a messy room. Then clear the chaos until you can see an empty white room.

Focus on your breathing

Try to deepen your breathing, in and out through your nose. Notice where you are breathing: your chest, your stomach, or diaphragm. Try to take deep breaths from your stomach and in a slow, rhythmic pattern. In for 2 and out for 4. Imagine waves retracting from the beach with every inhale and then them gently washing up on the sand with every exhale. 

Further Help on How to Fall Asleep

If you need something stronger, I highly recommend reading. In books, we can find escape and it allows you to focus on something outside of your head. Not only that but it will give you something to think about after you’ve closed the book. I always find it takes no more than 2 chapters to make me sleepy enough to drift off, uninterrupted by sleep demons. Check out my post; Best Bedside Books to see what books I reach for in the night and help me settle my uneasy mind.

If books aren’t your thing, then I highly recommend the Headspace app. It has a feature called ‘Sleepcasts’ which I find extremely helpful. It’s like someone reading you a story with added ambiance and it allows you to alter your experience, making it more ambiance or voice prominent. I talked more about it in my post 10 Ways To Do Self Care at Home.

If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to learning how to fall asleep, then I highly suggest you check out: https://www.mindpanda.com/
They have multiple products designed to help you practice mindfulness on the go, anytime, anywhere, and away from all distractions. Helping you achieve a healthier, happier, and well-balanced lifestyle. They produce products such as stress balls and mindfulness cards and are currently offering 15% off your first order and free shipping!

I hope this helps keep your sleep demon at bay. If you need more help with how to fall asleep then I recommend visiting Sleep Hubs. Click here for the SleepHubs Check-Up. In 1 minute it can assess your sleep and determine your risk level of insomnia. From there, they can offer all kinds of solutions specific to your needs. Everything from a pre-bedtime routine, a mattress topper or even Cognitive Behavioural Therapy courses for insomnia.
Click here for the 1-minute checkup completely free.

Happy sleeping!

Like this post? Click here to read our tips for mastering mindful sleep for more help and advice.

Also, have a look at this video for some funny insights into how sleep techniques actually affect your sleep quality, we promise it’s worth it just for the funny drawings!

FAQs

How Do You Fall Asleep In 5 Minutes?

Hold your breath for seven counts and focus on your breathing.

Why Can’t I Sleep Even Though I Am Tired?

Over tiredness is one of the biggest ways we can’t sleep. Try to spend 10 minutes before bed with no devices to help shut off your mind and drift off.

Mastering Mindfulness For Sleep

Matering Mindfulness for Sleep

Have you seen the meme about the early bird, the night owl and the permanently exhausted pigeon? No wonder it resonated with so many people. Almost three-quarters of Britons sleep less than seven hours a night and 12% get less than five hours shuteye. Mindfulness for sleep can help.

What’s stopping us from getting a good night’s rest? The top reasons are stress and worry (45%), our partners (25%) and noise (20%). And it’s not just drifting off. A third of people experience poor sleep most nights, so staying asleep is a challenge for many.

Little surprise then that we’re looking for solutions. 42,000 Google searches happen every month for phrases like ‘how to get to sleep’ or ‘how to fall asleep quickly’. One of the answers is mindfulness meditation for sleep. It makes sense: breathing slowly lowers the heart rate. Concentrating on our breath or our bodies calms racing thoughts.

Want to give it a try? We’ve got you covered.

Mindfulness for sleep – Guided sleep meditation

Ever put your head on your pillow only to find that your brain goes into overdrive? You’re not alone. Mindfulness can help you to let go of the day – and everything that happened. A guided sleep meditation is a great way to learn these techniques and we have several for you to try. Just click on the link.

Guide me to the land of nod

Improve your odds

Tired all the time – it even has its own acronym (TATT). Once someone reaches this stage, all kinds of unhelpful things happen. Over-relying on caffeine, eating unhealthily, no energy for exercise, stressing out of kids and work… It’s a vicious cycle and is unlikely to help anyone get back into a healthy sleep routine. So, what can you do to put the sleep odds in your favour?

Switch off

Light is a powerful signal to the body to stay awake. Blue light from electronic devices suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin and makes it harder to drift off. Give yourself an hour before bedtime to wind down and keep screens out of the bedroom.

Alcohol doesn’t help

A quarter of us are turning to the bottle to try and get some sleep. There’s a gotcha. While booze can help us fall asleep, it has a terrible effect on sleep quality. It reduces rapid eye movement sleep – the sleep stage that contributes most to feeling rested. So ditch the alcohol (and coffee, obvs) and turn to a hot milky or herbal drink instead.

Journaling to the rescue

Mindful journaling is a form of meditative writing. It helps you to understand your thinking habits so that you can take more control of what’s going on in your mind. And it’s a firm base for trying mindfulness for sleep.

You may also find it helpful to make a to-do list for the next day. Once you’ve committed thought to paper, you can relax safe in the knowledge that you’re not going to forget the cupcakes for the bake sale (or whatever it may be).

Active body, peaceful mind

It can be hard to exercise when you’re already tired (or maybe stressed), but it is a natural sleep aid. In fact, even ten minutes of regular aerobic exercise can have a dramatic effect. What can you do to be more active?

All about the habits

There’s nothing worse than being unable to sleep, while you think of your heavy schedule for the next day. But getting worked up is going to have the opposite effect. Build a calming bedtime routine, starting at around the same time every day. This will take time to take effect, so don’t expect immediate results.

Switch off. Journal. Relax. Meditate. Rinse and repeat. If it hasn’t worked on your first attempt, don’t give up. Start again from the beginning and then go back to bed for another attempt. Keep it up for a month and we’re confident you’ll notice the difference.

Looking for some tips on journalling? Does it seem a little daunting? We found this great (and very aesthetically pleasing) video that helps with how to fill out those blank pages like a pro!

Are you new to mindfulness for sleep? A master of the practice? Let us know how you get to sleep in the comment below – we’d love to hear from you.

Still struggling to get into ‘zen’ mode before sleeping? Try out one of our free guided sleep meditations on our resources page.