I know from first hand experience how hard it is to turn my mind off when it is time to go to bed. I have so much going on between work, new projects, kids, activities and so forth, that my sleep is less than restful. I feel like I am tossing and turning every night. One of my favorite books 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People tells you to limit yourself to one topic before you go to bed. It is easy to go from one subject to another subject in your mind until you have a catalog of problems running around in your head. No wonder people have difficulty sleeping. The author David Niven advises picking one topic that you can focus on before you go to bed. That way you alleviate the clutter in your mind and hopefully create a more restful night sleep. In studies of college students, shifting between pre-sleep thoughts was found to be rela ted to difficulty in sleeping and lower sleep quality, which, in turn, were related to unhappiness. Better sleepers are 6 percent more satisfied with their lives than average sleepers, and 25 percent more satisfied than poor sleepers. So, my goal for each of you this week is to be more aware of your thoughts before you go to bed. Create an evening ritual. Journal to get your anxiety down on paper. Take some time to focus on one subject before you turn the lights out.
ACTION TIPS FOR THE WEEK:
1. Start an evening ritual
I think it is so beneficial to create an evening ritual. Most individuals have very busy lives, so it is important to make some space to slow everything down before bed. Otherwise your mind never has an opportunity to take a break and rejuvenate. Start a ritual that feels good to you. Plug in time for a hot bath, or time to journal; possibly listen to music and read a good book, or simply take some time to call a good friend.
2. Pick one subject
While you are brushing your teeth, decide which topic you will focus on before going to sleep. Try to be aware of your thoughts and always revert back to the original topic. When something else pops into your mind, gently nudge it aside and refocus on your chosen subject.
3. Consistency creates habits
It is important to be consistent with your efforts. Try this nightly routine for one week and see how you feel. Create some down time and stick to one topic and notice if you are sleeping any better. I guarantee you will feel more refreshed and rejuvenated when you wake up. Good luck!
Have a great week!