Do you often lay awake at night, tossing and turning, trying to get to sleep? I know it happens to me quite a bit. I finish up working on The Daily Hack, or watching an exciting episode of LOST or Chuck, and head to bed only to discover that I can’t get to sleep. Although my body is physically tired, my mind is still going a mile a minute and there’s no way I can get it to gear down. Usually, I just lay there for a couple hours waiting it out before I finally drift off to sleep. The next night I go to bed tired and cranky and start the whole thing over again. If only there were a better way! Well, there is a better way, and today we’re going to learn how by hacking our insomnia!
The fine folks over at MindCafe.org have posted an awesome article on how you can hack your insomnia by putting your mind to sleep in 3 easy steps. How can you hack your insomnia in 3 easy steps? Well, according to the article:
Step 1: Awareness
The beginning step to changing anything is becoming aware that it’s happening, particularly if it’s your own mind. Assume your mind is racing, and you finally recognize that you’re thinking… Most people at this stage get awfully irritated and “try” to force the mind into submission. It doesn’t work! Why? For the reason that what you focus on expands. The more irritated you are, the more you’re focusing on irritation, so you’ll get even MORE irritation, and more thinking… on and on!
Therefore the first step is to merely become “aware” of the fact that you’re thinking. And not anything more. When you see that you’re thinking, smile to yourself, and say, “I just noticed myself thinking… Interesting…”
Now note down what happens inside of you when you do this… something very profound. If “I” just noticed “myself” thinking, conceivably there are two entirely separate identities running your life? You have the “I” and you have the “self.”
The “I”, is the real you, the higher being, the “I” behind the mind, that executes the inner being, the heart, the soul, the true conscious being, the choice maker.
The “self” is the mind. If left to execute the inner being, will run in endless circles until the edge of insanity.
The minute you do this, the minute you become “Aware” – you are no longer a slave to your mind. You have succeeded! After you become aware… do nothing, just lay there for three seconds and see how it feels to be present in who you really are, not the mind, but you, the “I” – there is a great feeling of peace behind that presence in the “I.” Why? Because when you are aware like this, you get to know the power of your choice making. Now you possess the power of choice.
Step 2: Relaxed Focus
Once more… “What you focus on expands.” Now that you are fully conscious of your thinking, all you need to do is “direct” your mind into a position that will bring you into a profound place of rest. Think about it, if before your mind will persistently race into any direction you give it; why not pick a direction that will give you serenity and restful sleep?
But, majority of us do not realize what that direction really is. It’s really simple. If you focus on anything your body does or feels subconsciously, you will start to become more and more realized. For instance your breathing, the sensitivity of the pillow on your head, the sounds of nature outside (unless you live in the city), the warmth of your body. These are all situations that occur, yet your conscious mind doesn’t think about them.
Now one more time use, “What you focus on, expands”… Then what would occur if you concentrated on something that is happening in your “subconscious”? That’s right, your conscious thinking would decrease, and your subconscious mind would start to accept the whole process of you falling asleep! It really is that easy, and it always works…
The lightest one, is your breathing. And I guarantee you if you just try this tonight, you will be surprised when you wake up in the morning: “Whoa! It worked!”
Step 3: Repetition
I’ve already mentioned, the lightest one to focus on is your breathing. In the starting, you’ll find this easier said than done. Let me explain.
- First of all, take your focus onto your breathing. Take a deep breath in. Hold it for a short while, and slowly exhale…
- Count “1″
- Breathe in again… hold it for a while, exhale slowly, and count…
Why count? Because I promise, in the very beginning, you may find it difficult to hold your focus. Actually, you’ll be astonished as you may not even make it to “5″ the first time. This is because your conscious ever-thinking mind will chime in and interrupt. You may haphazardly go over into a storm of thoughts again. If this occurs, and it very well may, what do you do?
Simply become aware, and begin focusing on your breathing again. Guess what happens? As you become aware, 2 or 3 times… your mind will give up. I guarantee you, beyond the shadow of a doubt, when you get to “10″ or “15″ breaths you will feel a wave of relaxation in your body. This is the silent “click” as your mind shifts from the high frequency Beta brain-waves into Alpha brain-waves. Your subconscious mind will do the rest for you!