I’ve always considered myself a “light-sleeper”. Growing up, I would be able to fall asleep as long as I had a little quiet and then I was out for the night, for the most part. (Except for that period as a baby were I would ONLY sleep in the car and would require midnight car rides to get back to sleep... sorry Mom and Dad.) Nowadays, it takes a sleep mask, earplugs, a white-noise machine, a extra-strong cup of bedtime tea, pillows for my head/knees/arms... getting a good nights sleep has become far more of an ordeal. However, even with all my tools to fight insomnia, the one thing I can’t shut off is my brain. So what to do to turn off that loud inner dialogue that turns up the volume right when you close your eyes?
“Count sheep to fall asleep” is age-old advice, but why?
By giving the mind something to focus on, you’ll eventually be able to quiet the mind enough to fall asleep.
Instead of sheep, I realized this was an opportunity to use a mantra to help myself drift into dreamland. A mantra is a word or phrase that carries a powerful meaning, and repeating your mantra creates a single focus for the mind. Mantras are commonly used for meditation because they center the mind and body, allowing you to go inward, and as such, are also wonderful tools for falling asleep.
Depending on what thoughts are racing through my mind each night, I modify my mantra to best suit my needs.
So far, these are some of my favorites:
I am at peace.
I am relaxed.
All is well.
I am getting a good night’s rest.
(Exhale) Release. (Inhale) Peace.
Since beginning this practice, I have been noticing a big difference in how long it takes me to fall asleep, and how rested I feel in the morning!
What are your nightly rituals to fall asleep? Do you use mantras at night?