I can’t sleep because I can’t stop thinking!

Does this sound familiar? Scores of people struggle to go to sleep every night.

They lose precious time tossing and turning for hours before they can finally get some sleep, and by that time it’s almost time to get back up! Many individuals depend on various forms of sleeping aids. 

Wouldn’t it be great to just lay your head on the pillow and 2-5 minutes later be sound asleep?

It is possible and here’s an easy exercise you can try.

1. The busy, action-packed poster board

Once in bed, close your eyes and start visualizing a white, large poster coming toward you until it is right in front of you. It is now within your reach. On your imaginary poster board, take your hand and pen and start writing all your thoughts, activities, worries, etc. Continue writing on it until there is not one blank space left. 

Some of the items one your poster board may include:

  • All your to-do’s for tomorrow
  • Special meetings
  • Project deadlines
  • Anxieties, worries, fears, thrills, dreams, vacations
  • Quizzes or tests
  • Scheduled games, if you are in sports

Continue to write all your thoughts until there is no more room left on the poster board. Every bit of space has been taken by all your thoughts and activities. They are written in every direction. This is a busy, action-packed poster board and represents all the activity in your mind.

2. The relaxed, peace-packed poster board

With your eyes closed, visualize putting your pen away and gently begin pushing the poster board away from you. 

Push it a little bit further. Keep pushing it away. It’s getting a little smaller and farther away from you. By now you can’t read the writing. All you see is scribbling. Keep pushing it further away.

By now the poster has become tiny.

In your mind, look to the right and notice that there is another poster in the distance. It seems to be approaching you and has overshadowed the other poster, which you are no longer able to see.

You can’t read anything on the new poster because of the distance but is rapidly getting closer to you.

Bring it closer to you.

A little more.

Now it is in front of you.

You are attempting to read what is says but… there is absolutely nothing written on it. It is completely blank.

No actions, no worries, no fears… just relaxation, tranquility, and peace.

Take a deep breath, hold it for 3 seconds and slowly exhale.

Take two more deep breaths.

Continue focusing on the blank poster and keep your entire focus there. Continue taking deep breaths.

Say goodnight to your mind!

3. The Countdown

Now slowly count from 20 to zero backward, as you continually think of peace and tranquility and relaxation.

Goodnight! Enjoy a full night’s rest.

Personalize It

You can substitute the poster with anything else that works for you. You can also adjust the countdown. Make it personal…whatever works for you.

I used this method of relaxation on my daughter and she is normally knocked out in 45 seconds! I thought she was faking it the first time we tried because when I had counted down to 10 and she was almost snoring. I checked her two hours later and she had not moved an inch… she was still in the same position!

What techniques for falling asleep have worked for you?