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Going to Sleep When Your Brain is Awake

08-11-2010

Sick of counting sheep? There are some nights were nothing seems to work, when your brain is racing even though you are exhausted. The worst thing is that the more you think about not being able to sleep, the harder it is to get to sleep.  What can you do to help you drift off?

Focus on doing something repetitive or relaxing. Ok, admittedly this includes counting sheep, but you are not limited to watching woolly jumpers, there are endless other options. You may want to imagine your favourite painting, envisioning all the details and colours. You could mentally hum or sing a song in your head, allowing the repetition to lull your mind. The trick is to distract yourself so you forget that you can’t get to sleep.

Stretch in bed. Another good thing to do is to stretch your muscles while lying in bed. Start with one part of your body and work the whole way through every muscle, slowly tightening and then relaxing each one. Again this is about distracting your mind, about focussing on something simple and relaxing that will help you drift off to sleep.

Acknowledge defeat and get up. This should be your final option, but if you really cannot get to sleep then get up and do something for a while. You may want to read, go for a walk or have a snack. Often all it takes is thirty minutes and when you go back to bed you will fall asleep with ease.

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