1. Word repetition
Repeating a word keeps the mind focused on that particular word, rather than thinking and obsessing about the future or things you need to do. Using simple words or phrases like "it, it, it, it" or "the, the, the". It is also good to repeat the word in a random rhythm. "it, it, ....... it ....... it, it, it, it, ........ it' etc.
2. Bedtime rituals
Get your mind ready for sleep by repeating certain tasks before you go to bed: lighting a scented candle in the bedroom, taking a relaxing bath, and then reading or listening to relaxing music. Doing this every night prepares the mind, and signals to your body that it is time, for sleep.
3. Set boundaries between day and night
If you've had a busy day it can be difficult for the mind to switch off and it can prevent you falling asleep if you have tasks from your to do lists unhelpfully popping up every couple of minutes. A helpful practice is to write everything down that you have to do the next day and leave it outside your bedroom - this is good for creating a boundary between night and day. If any of those tasks pop in back into you- mind, just remind yourself that it's all taken care of and can wait until the morning.
4. Keep your bedroom as a bedroom
Don't confuse your bedroom with your office, games room, telephone booth or anything else. Your bedroom is where you go to sleep. If you use your room as a work space then your mind can get confused between the two, and therefore it finds it hard to recognise when you want to sleep, play or work. Keep bedtime and your bedroom simple and clutter free.
5. Regular Exercise
This reduces stress levels. There is scientific evidence to suggest that exercising too close to bedtime will keep you awake as it can be stimulating, if this is the case for you then make sure you exercise instead at a time that suits your body.
6. Sleep Cycles
Get in to the habit of getting up and going to bed at a certain time. This allows the body to get in to a sleep cycle and the body and mind find rhythms soothing.
7. Mind Trickery - Carey's favourite way to fall asleep
Have you noticed that you try and force yourself to sleep by telling yourself to sleep the opposite happens? Try the reverse instead. When your eyes are closing, open them and try to stay awake. You are literally tricking your mind in to sleeping. We love a bit of reverse psychology!
8. More Mind Trickery - Zoe's favourite way to fall asleep.
Most of the clients that we see suffering from insomnia go to bed telling themselves 'I must sleep' and visualise how terrible they are going to feel the next day, tell yourself instead that you don't care whether you sleep and even if you feel tired the next day you'll survive it and get through it, you may not feel amazing, but you don't have to feel amazing every day, and you'll feel so tired the next night at the very least you'll sleep really well then. You've handled bigger things in life than some tiredness the next day!
Focus on your breath. Taking a deeper breath in and out, keep focusing on the breath and if your mind wanders off, just gently but firmly bring it back to the breath
10. Lose unhelpful sleep habits
Get the clock display out of your eye level, opening your eyes to check what time it is every 10 minutes and calculating "I've only got another 4 hours before the alarm goes off" is not helpful!