Maybe you have no trouble falling asleep. You are asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.
Yet almost every morning you wake up during the wee hours and sleep escapes you for a long block of time–even until time to wake up for work.
If you are the type to lie in bed worrying or planning the next day’s activities, learn to relax. Start by visualizing one of your favorite places.
Is it the mountains, the seashore, or a lovely creek near your home?
Mine is a stretch of sand with waves rolling in and dolphins playing in the surf. I’m the only person there. I smell the salt air, feel the sand between my toes, and lazily watch the dolphins swim in and out of the waves. If a shark (distraction or worry) swims in, I visualize the dolphins chasing it off. Eventually I drift off.
If you wake up during the night feeling anxious and worried, visualize writing your worries on a piece of paper and sticking them in a drawer. You can even see yourself opening the drawer in the morning and solving all your problems if that helps.
If visualization doesn’t work, actually write your problems on a piece of paper, then stash them away in your bedside table.
If ideas and solutions rather than worries and problems are the culprits stealing your sleep, wake up long enough to write them on a piece of paper or record them in a hand-held recorder. Then turn over and go back to sleep, knowing your ideas are safe until morning.
Watch your breath. Concentrate on your nose. See the breath come in; fill your lungs, then go back out again. Do this for at least 20 minutes.
If your mind wanders (and it will), don’t follow that wandering mind. Bring it gently back to your breath again.
You will probably soon be asleep again.
If All Else Fails, Get Up
Try getting out of bed and just sitting in a chair in another room for 20 minutes or so.
Don’t turn on the television or computer. Those mechanical aspects of our life wake us up.