Of all the lullabies I had sung to me as a child this one was on the NEVER FAIL list.
“ Stay awake, don’t rest your head, don’t lie down upon your bed. While the moon drifts in the skies, stay awake, don’t close your eyes. You’re not sleepy as you seem, stay awake, don’t nod and dream”
When my mum needed to tuck me in quickly and head out with dad, on a Friday night and didn’t want a lot of back chatter, she used her secret weapon – this song and it’s reverse psychology! BAM, before she could get to line 5, I was out like a light. So that’s one way to put a kid to sleep!
However, if you’re struggling with falling asleep or staying asleep then I don’t suggest the above approach. It’s important to give your mind the right instructions so that it is able to give you the outcome you’d want. In my blog ‘Watch your Words’ I talk about how your mind takes the best instructions from yourself because it’s your own voice that’s in your head all day every day. If you have trouble sleeping, I suggest you try this simple technique of self-talk at different times in the day.
During the course of your day, while you’re at work or driving somewhere or even in the shower, say to yourself, or simply think …
“I’m gonna sleep soooo well tonight!” Now, make sure you don’t taint that with any other follow up negative instructions.
What you are doing, is giving yourself a direct command! “I am going to sleep so well tonight!”
Not, I”m going to try and sleep well” or “I hope I sleep well”
Just positive and direct. “I am going to sleep well!” and while you say this or think this to yourself, create an image of yourself sliding into your bed and effortlessly falling asleep.
Notice, I’m not saying lie to yourself or pretend, I’m just saying create an ‘advertisement’ of the outcome you want that night for yourself and let your mind imagine, for just a few moments how lovely that would feel. Falling asleep quickly and sleeping deeply, only to awaken refreshed in the morning.
Do this about 2 -3 times in the day. Once your home and it’s almost time to go to bed and you’re getting ready to get under the sheets, say to yourself,
“I go to sleep quickly, I sleep deeply and I only wake up in the morning.”
Almost chant it in your mind as you start to unwind and go into your final nightly routine. Washing your face, getting your water, pulling the sheets back, kissing the dog.
Now personally, I like to read in bed and then fall asleep. It’s not highly recommended but you need to do what works for you, with a few tweaks. If you do read, make sure it’s not anything too stimulating, read something that is unrelated to your day or work or the kids and STAY AWAY from Facebook in bed.
If it’s TV ( this is way worse than reading BTW ) I’d say get the TV out of the bedroom but If you absolutely must watch then the same rule applies – nothing too stimulating, emotional or violent.
Light instrumental music is fine – the idea is that you are trying to disconnect from the day and give your mind some downtime. When you indulge in thoughts ideas, visions that fire your imagination and get your mind racing it’s not going to fall into that deep slumber you had advertised to yourself earlier in the day.
So turn the lights out, try some simple yoga breaths and pretend to be fast asleep. In just a few moments your mind will pick up on the last suggestions you had given it “I fall asleep quickly, I sleep deeply and only wake-up in the morning.”