(90) The Secret to Falling Asleep (when you just can't)

Updated: Jul 26

Medical links to a lack of sleep are premature aging, weight gain, weakened immunity, high blood pressure and low sex drive.


Of course, we also make more mistakes, have more accidents (including auto) and lower job performance.

And we care less about, well, everything, our attention span is also shorter and many of us turn into the seventh dwarf (right, Grumpy).



Overall, a lower quality of life.

Now imagine a (more youthful?) brighter appearance, better health, improved concentration and productivity, along with a stronger sex drive.

How?

For years, I fought through hours of damp and tangled sheets; my nights were sleepless nightmares, as I dreaded the coming dawn. And then I discovered the secret to getting more sleep.


Stop trying!


Trying automatically means effort, and effort tightens body and breath. We fight the reality of wakefulness, along with whatever irritant is keeping us awake.

And whether that irritant is our own inner turmoil, a snoring bed mate or loud party, the underlying cause is the same: a negative emotion that churns up a mind full of (negative?) thoughts) and a body full of tension.

This emotion can be fear-based concern/worry; anger-based irritation or anger itself; or hurt-based sadness/grief. It can even be a positive emotion, like excitement. Or maybe it cannot be named.

Regardless, the solution is the same: stop trying to sleep and instead...


Let Go


First, give yourself permission to be awake, to experience the reality of that moment (because that is where you are). I know, it sounds counterintuitive, but give it try.


Then, breathe out the body’s tension with each breath; and, release the


irritant/emotion simply by feeling it (instead of trying to ignore or fight it).


Feeling while relaxed does exactly what you want. Releases the emotion. And when you have released enough, you will fall naturally into deeper rest.

The key is to let the feeling do whatever it needs to do: stay in place, move around or fill you. Your job is to relax, by breathing out the tension and feeling whatever is there.

And any emotion releases faster if you let go of your thoughts (which allow the body to re-tighten). Breathe and feel without thought.

Note: If, after a few seconds, your mind tends to skip back into thought (and most of us do), gently bring yourself back to breathing; in fact, you can use your breathing as an anchor. Focusing on your breath can keep you relaxed, releasing and resting for longer periods.

However, if there is a lot of a negative emotion (e.g. snoring bed mate or loud party), it might take a while to release enough to find sleep. You might even be awake most of the night; but, continuing to breath out the tension will always give you more rest than fleeing into your thoughts or trying to sleep or giving up and getting up.


Can’t Get Yourself to Bed Earlier?


Staying up too late often includes eating and drinking what we sorely regret the next day (along with the pain (listed in the beginning).

So, why does no amount of scientific studies, not even the toughest New Year’s resolution, or clever ways to trick ourselves, get some of us to bed any earlier—consistently?

Because staying up “just a few more minutes" (with the tv, social media or a book) feel like a reward for getting through another tough day or period of our lives.

You Deserve


The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates


So, let’s do that, by filling our lives with positive rewards, because every reward we give ourselves weakens the negative ones (like staying up too late).


Go all out on a campaign of discovery; create a long list of things you like and like to do, by diving into your past for energizing fun; going on the internet; and checking out your local rec dept and YW/YMCA.


Create that list even if it takes days, weeks or, yes, months, because you deserve a higher quality of life. And of all you discover, have at least one reward that you can have, or do, first thing in the morning, because it is easier to go to bed earlier if you have something to look forward to.

Another way to go to bed earlier is to avoid taking drastic steps. Forget those big, sweeping resolutions; instead, gently decide to go to bed 10 or 15 minutes earlier than usual; and do this until it becomes consistent and then a habit (usually 2 or 3 weeks).

Then, and only then, go to bed 10 or 15 minutes earlier than that.

Also, instead of relying on the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations (7 to 9 hours for adults and 8 ½ to 9 ¼ for teens), consider using your own experience: you know how much sleep is too little; and you know what is too much; so, consider giving yourself just a bit less than too much.

And enjoy better health, improved concentration and productivity, fewer mistakes and a stronger sex drive, along with a (more youthful?) brighter appearance.

Now that You are More Rested

Forget your bucket list! This will lift your life way higher. And you can start right now:

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Or


All She Ever Wanted Was...

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Her: She was saying, “If only I could find the right guy, I would give myself to him, and—

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His business was deep in the red, and he was now desperate.


I asked him, “If there was one person on the planet holding you back, who would it be?”


He immediately said, “My Mother.”


She was giving him money to keep his business afloat.


She had also given him the down payment for his house and had recently taken over the payments. ​


His insight: "I'm 30 years old and still (like a child) dependent on my mother!"


Both Him & Her: The power of a deep insight is that it cannot be unseen; it will tend to keep prodding, motivating and pushing Him and Her into a permanent change (no resolutions needed).


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Either one of these 2 simple techniques can bring you a life-changing insight, one that leads to permanent change.

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And sent directly to your inbox with this link:


How Many ?


How many people, no matter what they try, spend their lives not losing Weight, or in unfulfilling Relationships (or none), or with Money problems or a Stalled career?

But one, eye-widening moment can begin leaving that pain behind


* Imagine seeing the present and past in an instant and knowing that it is no longer you

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Additional resources:



Sleep Before Midnight

https://www.developgoodhabits.com/sleep-before-midnight/






Go to Bed Earlier

https://www.sleep.org/articles/go-bed-earlier/





Lack of sleep? An abundant mind-set, includes the perfect amount of sleep:

https://www.danielsperaw.com/blog/abundant-mindset-one-essential-ingredient


The very foundation of personal improvement is self-care/self-love. At this link: https://www.danielsperaw.com/blog/the-essence-of-personal-improvement





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