How to fall asleep instantly
Well, Relax in a minute came out last week, and it's been a whirlwind of interviews, promotion and reviews. The reaction's been nuts. Good nuts - if you know what I mean. Er, anyway. One of the parts of the book people are reacting to best is the chapter on sleep. Many people say it’s not that they don’t allow enough time for sleep, it’s just that when they actually get into bed, their mind starts racing. And then they feel more awake and alert than they have all day.
So here's an effective 'getting to sleep technique' from the book.
We’ve all had problems getting to sleep at some point. When we eventually turn the light out, it’s often the first time all day we’ve had to do something really important, and that is to be quiet and think. One of the secrets of getting to sleep in these circumstances is to prepare for sleep in the right way. In the moments before you drop off, it’s not helpful to be thinking of all the problems that await you the next morning. It’s better to clear your mind to prepare for a deep rest, and you do this by using the senses of sight, sound and feeling to occupy the mind.
When you are ready for sleep, work out how many hours you’d like to sleep for. This number is important and I’ll refer to it as ‘Z’ in the technique. If you want eight hours’ sleep, then Z = 8. If you have set the alarm for six hours, then Z = 6. If you want to sleep for six-and-a-half hours, then round it up so Z = 7. And make sure you set an alarm.
So just to be clear, when Z is referred to in this technique, it refers to the number of hours you’re going to sleep for. Now, let’s get some Zzzzzs:
1 Be still. Notice (Z) things that you can see. Go slowly, concentrating on every one.
2 Notice (Z) things that you can hear. Again, go slowly.
3 Now notice (Z) things that you can feel or touch. For example, it might be the temperature of the air, the duvet on your back, the feeling of the sheet against your skin.
4 Now shut your eyes and continue the process, seeing in your mind (Z) things in the room you could previously see. Notice (Z) things you can hear, and (Z) things you can feel. (1 minute)
If your mind wanders, start the full minute again. This is important. Once you manage a full minute of this, it will usually be enough to take you into a nice, relaxed, different state. From there, you’ll find you are mentally prepared for sleep. But you must complete the full minute.
By fully occupying your mind, it can’t concentrate on all the stuff that it was mulling over. That distraction takes you into a different place, ready for sleep. And then the repetition of counting out the number of hours you want to sleep for gives your mind some powerful unconscious suggestions.
Where people often go wrong with this technique is that they don’t do it for the full minute. Their mind starts wandering much sooner, sometimes even after a few seconds. When you do this for a full minute, your mind will be in a different place, ready for sleep.
For more on sleep, including an incredible technique known as 'Eight hours sleep in 30 seconds', Relax in a minute is on sale in all good bookshops and available on Amazon now.