Have you ever had difficulties in sleeping? If the answer is in the affirmative, then you need to know that you are not alone in this struggle. Thousands of people all over the world suffer from this problem, and we all know how irritating it is. You are just lying on your bed awake for hours, trying to go to sleep but simply can’t. Out of frustration, you keep on changing your sleeping position, but nothing works.
A lot of factors can be responsible for this problem, including external ones too. Maybe there is too much light in the room, or the temperatures aren’t correct. However, while we can keep on listing these factors, they won’t be of much help unless a proper solution is provided. What are supposed to do when you can’t sleep? Think about someone or something? Eat something?
That’s why this article will help you go to sleep quickly by providing a few important psychological tricks. Keep this in mind the next time you can’t sleep; these tips are guaranteed to work for everyone.
1. Instead of counting sheep, redirect your focus to calming pictures
Many people believe that counting sheep is the best way to go to sleep, but this was disproved in a 2010 study. The Oxford University researchers found out that counting sheep has no effect on our sleeping patterns. That means that this was a complete myth. Then what is the solution?
They also researched about another thing –relaxing images, such as mountains or beautiful flowers and found out that they helped significantly in putting a person to sleep. The thing is, counting sheep doesn’t have any calming effect at all. Instead, by thinking about such pictures, one can sleep 20 minutes earlier on an average.
So keep this in mind the next time you can’t fall to sleep. Remember the trick is to imagine pictures which will calm you, so different people will be thinking about different pictures.
2. Count backwards
Some people don’t have a vivid imagination, hence for them, counting is the only solution. Researchers have also found out that while counting normally doesn’t have any effect, counting backwards using various patterns instead of just consecutive numbers will be better.
So counting back from 1000 at intervals of 5 or 3 will be much better. This is a simple mind game. You want something, which isn’t too easy or hard, and counting backward is the best solution. Counting sheep is just too easy for us to have any significant effect.
3. 4-7-8 breathing technique
There are a lot of variations of this technique where the lengths are changed, but the main part of the technique is still the same. You need to breathe slowly and then release it. A famous doctor, Dr. Andrew Weil’s version has been the most popular one till date – it involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding it for 7 seconds, while slowly releasing it for 8 seconds.
There is another popular version as well – breathe in for 3 seconds, and breathe out for 6 seconds. Basically there is no hard and fast rule which technique is the best; you just need to find out which is the perfect length for you.
4. Guided imagery
This is a special technique which is identical to meditation. Once you are in a relaxing state, start breathing slowly and then focus on a single object which should have a soothing effect on you. Note that you can’t just choose any arbitrary picture; for this technique to work you need to imagine something close to your life such as your grandmother or childhood friends etc.
5. Thought stopping
We are all aware that most people nowadays suffer from anxiety and stress, and doctors have found out that these two are the main reasons behind the inability to sleep. Since your mind is always racing from one thought to another, you are never really relaxed and hence you can’t fall asleep.
The solution is simple – thought to stop. This technique originated in the University of South Carolina. You need to be conscious of your thoughts and prevent your mind from moving to the next thought. You need some time to master this technique, but after that, you will find that this is the best solution to getting rid of sleep problems.