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Sleep : Mental Exercises to Help You Fall Asleep Fast

Updated on September 6, 2010

Mental Exercises To Relax Your Mind and Help You Fall Asleep

"My mind is racing" - is the primary complaint, of most people, when describing why they can't sleep. Thoughts about work, the kids, bills and so many other of life's worries, cause many late nights and drowsy days for millions of people. Learning to relax and getting your mind off the things that stress or excite you, is the key to falling asleep. If you can relax - you can sleep. In this lens, I will share several techniques to help you relax and clear your mind - and have you dreaming in no time.

Tips to Set the Stage

We'll get to the Mental Exercises in just a moment. First, let's begin with a few tips to help you prepare for a deeply refreshing, good night's sleep

Lay Off the Caffeine - Mom Was Right - Try Warm Milk Instead

Limit your caffeine intake to the morning hours. High caffeine levels in the evening is a leading cause of anxiety and a "racing mind" at bedtime. Many of us get into a cycle where, due to a restless night, we drink coffee to keep us going through the following day. Fight your way through the temptation to use coffee for energy - and your next nights sleep will come much easier.

Try milk and low-sugared juices in the afternoons, instead. Just before bed, have a small glass of warm milk. Milk contains tryptophan - a chemical which many researchers believe, helps people fall into the first stage of sleep. Milk alone will not put you to sleep, but it may aid in the process.

Make Your Bed A Place For Sleeping Only

Your bed should be used for one thing only - Sleeping. Remove the television from your bedroom. Get rid of any clutter and keep this room clean and tidy at all times. Spend your intimate time somewhere else that's just as comfortable and try on clothes and do your hair in the bathroom. Most importantly, keep this room dimly lit throughout the day with a lamp or dimmer switch. Never use the overhead light, unless absolutely necessary.

White Bedding Relaxes the Mind

Clean, white bedding has long been known to help calm the mind and promote relaxation. Subconsciously, your mind senses that you are in a safe, clean environment; free of confusing designs and abstracts. A blank pallet for your mind to deal with, as opposed to colorful lines or shapes. White bedding is also cheaper and allows for bleaching. You can always have a colorful bedspread for show, just make sure you remove it, revealing an all-white bed, an hour or so before you plan to retire for the night.

If Necessary, Sleep Alone - You Can Spend Time Together Beforehand

One of the primary outside causes for lack of sleep is your sleep partner. Snoring, jerking and difficulty finding a comfortable position may not keep your partner awake, but may have you up all night. If you're having prolonged difficulty sleeping due to your partner's sleep habits, you may have to sleep alone. Intimate time can be spent beforehand, prior to your planned time to go to sleep. Spend this time with your partner, somewhere other than in your own bed - keeping your bed solely for the purpose of sleeping.

Mental Exercises

The key to the following exercises is to pay attention to every small detail. Mentally see, touch, hear and smell the experience.

Mental Exercise: The Dry Erase Board

Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and while exhaling, mentally recite the word "falling" three times, while picturing the word in your mind. Now take another deep breath and while exhaling, mentally recite the word "asleep" three times, while picturing the word in your mind.

Now, picture yourself standing in front of a dry erase board. In the marker

tray, there is an eraser, a blue pen, a black pen and a red pen. Mentally picture these items in the tray.

Now, take the red pen and remove the top. Deeply concentrate on what you're doing - the sound it makes when the top comes off, the color of the top and the felt tip, the smell of the ink, the size of the pen in your hand.

Now, slowly draw a large red heart on the board, taking up the majority of the center of the board. Take care to make it as symmetrically perfect as possible. Now, place the top back on the red pen and lay it back in the tray, in the exact spot you took it from.

Now, pick up the black pen and draw a large letter "A" in the center of the heart. Make sure to take up as much of the inside of the heart as possible, without touching the sides. Now replace the top and lay the black pen back in the tray in exactly the same spot.

Now, pick up the blue pen, remove the top, remember to concentrate on the sound, the smell, the color. Now, in the top left corner of the board, outside of the heart, write the word "falling" in all lower-case letters. Slowly move down to the lower-right corner of the board and write the word "asleep" in all lowercase letters. Place the top back on the pen, return it to it's spot on the tray, and pick up the eraser.

Now, erase the letter "A" in the center of the heart. Take extreme care in making sure you do not touch the sides of the heart. Completely remove the ink. Now, erase the word "falling" and then the word "asleep" in the same manner. Return the eraser to the tray, placing it in the exact position it was in before you picked it up. Now, look at the board, which should have nothing on it but the large heart.

Remove the black pen, the top, and write the letter "B" inside the heart. Continue on as you did before. You get the picture. Continue on with "C" then "D" until you fall asleep.

It is extremely important to concentrate on doing everything in perfect order, while not touching the sides of the heart. If you make this effort, your mind will not be able to race around about all those little things it normally does. Your subconscious mind will slowly become bored of the repetition and you will fall asleep.

Mental Exercise: The Bathtub

Begin this exercise as you did with the "Dry Erase Board"

Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and while exhaling, mentally recite the word "falling" three times, while picturing the word in your mind. Now take another deep breath and while exhaling, mentally recite the word "asleep" three times, while picturing the word in your mind.

Now picture yourself in a white, sparkling clean bathtub. The fixtures in the room, the walls and ceiling, are all white.

The water is the perfect temperature with just enough scented bath beads. There is a small table with two short, lit candles - one slightly taller than the other - beside the tub within reach of your right arm.

Now, mentally concentrate on the smell of the bath beads. Listen closely to the sound the water makes when you lightly move your right hand up and down. Picture the small flame on the tops of the two candles. Deeply concentrate, using all of your mental senses.

Now, mentally draw your attention to the two small flames on the tops of the candles. Picture them flickering lightly. Picture the similar size of the flame from one candle to the other. Pay close attention to every detail.

Now, picture both hands at your sides. Fingers together and extended, just under the surface of the water. Feel the perfect warm temperature. Now, while concentrating on the candle to the left, slowly picture lifting your left hand slightly. Mentally picture the flame barely getting taller. Now, lower your left hand slowly and picture the flame barely getting smaller.

Now, focus on the candle to the right and mentally raise your right hand slowly and watch the flame barely rise. Lower your hand, and watch as the flame becomes smaller.

Now, purse your lips and lightly blow the candles. Pay attention to how they lightly flicker as your breath passes by.

Now start again with your left hand. Deeply concentrate on every detail and repeat the steps over until you fall asleep.

Mental Exercise: Alone on the Beach

Begin this exercise as you did with the "Dry Erase Board"

Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and while exhaling, mentally recite the word "falling" three times, while picturing the word in your mind. Now take another deep breath and while exhaling, mentally recite the word "asleep" three times, while picturing the word in your mind.

Now, picture yourself sitting comfortably in the sand on a beautiful beach, your hands at your sides. You are facing the ocean. The temperature is perfect. The sand is white, soft and warm. The water is sparkling blue. There is a slight breeze, just strong enough to lightly move your hair, yet gentle enough to not move the grains of sand. Feel the breeze. Smell the sweet aroma of your favorite soothing scent on the breeze. Draw your attention to the tide. It is very calm, lightly lapping the shore every ten seconds. You cannot see the sun, although you can feel it's warmth and see it's light.

Now, mentally picture scooping up sand in your left hand. Hold it out in front of you, just to your left. As the tide lightly laps the shore, slightly spread your fingers and while counting backwards slowly from 10 to 1, allow the sand to fall through your fingers. Feel the dry grains as they pass through, between each of your fingers. Allow the last of the grains to fall as you reach the number "1" and hear the tide gently lap again.

Now, lower your arm and while counting backward again from 10 to 1, scoop up some sand in your right hand and mentally raise it out in front of you and just to your right. Pay attention to every detail. The breeze, the way the sand feels in your hand, the warmth. Now, as the tide gently laps again, slightly spread your fingers and begin to let the sand fall slowly while counting down again.

Repeat these steps until you fall asleep. Remember to concentrate on every detail with all of your senses.

Remember...

The key to the Mental Exercises is to pay attention to every small detail. Mentally see, touch, hear and smell the experience. If you do this, these exercises WILL work for you.

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    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 4 years ago

      I like the tip on picturing a beach scene. So relaxing! Very helpful indeed! Sundae ;-)

    • profile image

      ethanchong123 4 years ago

      Thanks! Really appreciated your lens! Visit www.sleepwellsecrets.com to know the secret cure for insomnia

    • profile image

      ethanchong123 4 years ago

      Thanks! Really appreciated your lens! Visit www.sleepwellsecrets.com to know the secret cure for insomnia

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Awesome lens!

    • profile image

      apostolkostov 4 years ago

      I can show a way to sleep well and tight too just follow the link http://www.squidoo.com/sleep-well-and-tight

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      I love the Alone on the Beach exercise.

    • profile image

      WWurpleW 4 years ago

      Great tips for more effective sleep!

    • Webrevolve LM profile image

      Webrevolve LM 4 years ago

      Great tips! It'll certainly make sure I'm not falling asleep in work everyday! :)

    • profile image

      Busy_and_Fit 5 years ago

      Great info

    • profile image

      christian-green-505 5 years ago

      OR just run around your house like 10x 2 hours before you go to bed

      I have too this stuff don't work videos,music,medicine,company...All don't work IM MESSED UP! :(

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 5 years ago

      Very nice tips and info in your lens.

    • Thrinsdream profile image

      Thrinsdream 5 years ago

      Loved this I have added a link to it in my q-link article. With thanks and appreciation. Cathi x

    • Nimsy LM profile image

      Nimsy LM 5 years ago

      some great tips here...

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      These imagery exercises sound like they would work. Useful tools to have in case of insomnia. Thanks!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      My first sprinkling of angel dust on this lens has long worn off so I am back once again to scatter a little more. It is my quest today to bless all the lenses which I blessed in October of 2010. You are on this list.

    • profile image

      SleepSoDeep 5 years ago

      Great tips! The first 10 minutes after you lay down are the most influential for insuring a good night's sleep. Slowing down the "monkey mind" is the key to this. Learn more ways to quiet your mind naturally at https://sleepsodeep.com

    • profile image

      adityasam93 5 years ago

      20 minutes of Workout a day can bolster your sleep by a dramatic 65%. You'll look better, slimmer and be more active. Here's more on it Workouts Can Help You Sleep Better - Benefits of Good Sleep

    • sponias lm profile image

      sponias lm 5 years ago

      Sleeping well is very important. Thank you for your tips!

    • BubblesRFun profile image

      BubblesRFun 6 years ago

      Great tips for getting to sleep! :)

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 6 years ago from Valencia, California

      Thank you for advise

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I just fall asleep most times but there are times when sleep eludes me. These exercises will be put to use.

    • brittanyshaf profile image

      brittanyshaf 6 years ago

      very interesting! lots of good tips on here. blessings

    • ChemKnitsBlog2 profile image

      ChemKnitsBlog2 6 years ago

      You have some great tips here. (Especially keeping the bed as a place only for sleep). I have chronic fatigue syndrome, and I do everything I can to keep myself OUT of my bed during the day. *Blessed :)

    • Tamara14 profile image

      Tamara Kajari 6 years ago from Zagreb, Croatia, Europe

      It's so relaxing, that I'm hardly writing this comment:-) Very useful and easy to follow tips. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great tips for relaxing and getting the most of the sleep.

    • profile image

      kt_glasses 6 years ago

      very well-written lens! Sleep matters so much and I strongly feel so as time passing by.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      Lovely and a lot of work put into this article. Blessed by a squid angel.

    • JeffreyTymczak LM profile image

      JeffreyTymczak LM 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your next lens, I will definitely be rating this UP!!! ;)

      Jeff

    • TriviaChamp profile image

      TriviaChamp 6 years ago

      Some great tips! I plan on implementing a few for those restless nights.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 7 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      Wonderful suggestions on how to combat insomnia! I'll have to give a few of these mental exercises a try.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      wow this is great...I need this at least once a week...a ~"Squid Angel Blessing"~

    • profile image

      ExSmoker07 7 years ago

      I used many of these methods during my pregnancy, and as you know, most women have these sleeping issues. Using those in the combination of getting comfortable using maternity body pillow it helped me have better night sleep.

    • Kate Phizackerl1 profile image

      Kate Phizackerl1 7 years ago

      Very well done lens. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I don't do any of these things, I just stay up too late and wake up too early every day. I've featured this on my fan-club thank-you lens so - thank you!

    • MikkiGVee profile image
      Author

      MikkiGVee 7 years ago

      Absolutely, Spirituality. You have a very nice selection of lenses, with lots of great tips on this subject.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 7 years ago

      Great lens, but you knew that :) Just wanted to remind you that this is featured on Sleep Disorders and Insomnia Solutions Headquarters

      http://www.squidoo.com/groups/sleep

      It's now transformed into a lensography and I would love it if you could show your appreciation by featuring it here, or lensrolling it or something.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Nice tips, beautifully presented.

    • Laddoo LM profile image

      Lloyd Pinto 7 years ago from Mumbai

      Really cool lens! 5* and fave!

    • profile image

      tcinvestor 8 years ago

      Great simple advice that a lot of people can use. Thanks for the lens.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I live on very little sleep. Not good, I know. I will try your techniques to see if at least one of them will help. Thank you. 5*s

    • julcal profile image

      julcal 8 years ago

      Thank you for this lens. i find that I naturally do the white bedding thing. I also go for white, or light pj's. And yes, it is easier to sleep alone. thanks for the mental exercises.

      Great lens. 5* and a FAV!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

      nicely done! I have struggled on and off with sleep problems forever and appreciate these techniques. 5***** and rolling to squidoo.com/justbreathe

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image

      RaintreeAnnie 8 years ago from UK

      Excellent lens with great information. Very good tips and although now I sleep pretty well mostly I will try out the mental exercises whenever I get a restless night. Lensrolling to my sleep and back pain lens. 5 stars to you !

    • carny profile image

      carny 8 years ago

      Nice tips, I should try them since I sometimes have trouble falling asleep.

    • x3xsolxdierx3x lm profile image

      x3xsolxdierx3x lm 8 years ago

      interesting lens! well done and 5 stars! :)

    • roamingrosie profile image

      roamingrosie 8 years ago

      Great lens! I'll be trying out those mental exercises the next time I find myself tossing and turning! :)

    • Webcodes LM profile image

      Webcodes LM 8 years ago

      Caffeine is definitely the worst for sleeping..even if you drink it early...once I stopped on the afternoon caffeine, I've been able to sleep much better. 5*****

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 8 years ago from California

      Excellent lens with some great advice. I'll try some of the techniques next time I have trouble sleeping. Thanks! Bear hugs, Frankster aka

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks for the tips! 5 stars!

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 8 years ago from Michigan

      I will try these, but I have my doubtszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

    • Bradshaw LM profile image

      Bradshaw LM 8 years ago

      Usually I can fall asleep effortlessly, but recently I've found my available amount of sleep time shrinking (probably too much time Squidooing!). One thing I try to do is to concentrate on relaxing and avoid contemplating my day or what's on the agenda for tomorrow.

      In bed, I think about my toes, ...they are sooo relaxed, then my feet, legs torso, arms, neck and head. Usually I don't complete the cycle because then next thing I know, my alarm clock is ringing and it's time to begin the day anew. It really does work. I guess I just push all my worries out and my body just assumes a more relaxed state and I quickly drift away...

    • LetaRussell LM profile image

      LetaRussell LM 8 years ago

      Very attractive lens with lots of great info! Rated it a 5*

    • StephMJohnson profile image

      StephMJohnson 8 years ago

      I'm forwarding this page to my boyfriend... great advice for people that have trouble "turning off the noise". Thank you for sharing your knowledge :)

    • profile image

      KurtnPatty 8 years ago

      Well done! Nowadays I fall asleep pretty quickly, but there was a time! Exactly as you describe; racing thoughts about everything under the Sun. It is by choice I am up at night or anytime; I work from home online and I wake up askng myself "am I rested enough to go to work"? Great job MikkiG, I will emulate your work here!

    • Davidfstillwagon profile image

      Davidfstillwagon 8 years ago

      I love the use of pictures in this lens. And the advice is very sensible and worthwhile.

      I give it a five!

      David Stillwagon

      https://hubpages.com/health/dfsleepapnea

    • profile image

      InsomniaExpert 8 years ago

      Great lens!

    • monarch13 profile image

      monarch13 8 years ago

      Good advice!

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 8 years ago

      I love doing imaginative spiritual exercises. Most of them are not for falling asleep, but the principals are quite similar! 5 stars!

    • profile image

      Grizbiz 8 years ago

      Great lens! I often have difficulty sleeping. I'm going to give your tips a shot.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      You're officially blessed!

    • profile image

      tdove 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

    • Snozzle profile image

      Snozzle 8 years ago

      Excellent tips. Must admit though I can sleep easily. 5* lens.

      Mike.

    • TimeHacker profile image

      TimeHacker 8 years ago

      Very nice and informative lens, 5* from me :)

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens. I'd love for you to submit it to the sleep and insomnia group.