If you decided to dedicate one quarter of your life to a job, or sport, or relationship, I imagine you would want to be confident that you were getting the absolute most out of it. I imagine you would want to feel fulfilled in that endeavor and put everything you have into it to ensure you weren’t wasting your time. That seems pretty straight forward right? So if you’re going to spend a quarter of your life sleeping, wouldn’t it be nice to maximize its effects and enjoy it to the fullest? If you’re one of the many who have a hard time either falling asleep, or staying asleep, there is hope besides getting a prescription from the doctor.
Very often when we encounter sleep trouble there is a deeper mental element that is involved. After-all, the body is designed to sleep. We all need sleep. We need sleep to function, to survive, to regenerate. Some need 5 hours, some need 9 hours, but we all need it. So what’s preventing the body from fully engaging in this necessary action?
It is true that we all have things to do. We all live busy lives with lists and tasks and stress. Chances are those lists and tasks are not going to be slowing down or going away anytime soon. In fact chances are they’re only going to be getting bigger with even less time to accomplish them. So you’re going to need your sleep. You’re going to need to completely shut down both mentally and physically in order to stay healthy and happy and sane.
Many times when a person has difficulty falling asleep, it is because their brain is still in action mode. Their brain is going through the day that just passed, or through the day that is yet to come. They are going through their do-to pile and searching for loose ends to tie up that may or may not exist. Now I’m not saying to stop doing this and relax. I’m not that naive. Instead I’m saying lets give your brain a different and more purposeful task that will end up putting it to sleep.
This task is as follows:
- Think of a word that starts with the letter A, that is at least 5 letters long, and that doesn’t repeat any of the letters. For example Almost.
- Then go onto the letter B. For example Bravo.
- Then onto C. For example Crayon.
The “goal” is to get all the way to Z. But the real goal is to fall asleep. I don’t think I have got past M or N more than twice before I’ve fallen asleep.
I wonder how often you have trouble falling asleep, then look at the clock and feel stressed because you know you have to get up soon, then that causes more stress which in turn makes it harder to fall asleep. Us humans are crazy like that, but by giving your brain a non-stressful and seemingly pointless task, it allows you to start to shut down mentally and physically without the extra burden of real-life consequences.
Most of us will have some difficulty shutting down at the end of the day, but using this technique will more often than not do the trick. As mentioned earlier, 25% of your life is going to be dedicated towards sleep, what if you were able to enjoy it fully?