How To Fix Middle of The Night Insomnia
I have a few special gifts for you today. They’re designed to help you relax quickly and with ease, as we could all use a little more of that.
About a month ago, I was waking up every night at 4am. Once awake, my thoughts would race.
I wish I was thinking something mundane, like “Darn, I forgot to pick up my dry cleaning” or “I never called the new babysitter back”, but they were usually about larger life issues. “Am I being a good enough mother” or “One day, when my parents are no longer here, will I wish I had done something different.”
These thoughts would send me on a hamster wheel of anxious thinking where I found myself trying to solve all my life’s problems, big and small. Often, the ruminating would keep me up for the rest of the night, making for a miserable next day.
After about 2 weeks, I knew I had to figure out how to deal with it, or it would only get worse.
So today, I want to share my “Get Back To Sleep In The Middle Of The Night” process.
This is also something you can practice in the middle of the day if you start to spin out on anything unpleasant. The more you practice it, the easier it will be and maybe not surprisingly, the less these little buggers will throw you off kilter.
So let’s walk through it together.
First, things first. Welcome all the thoughts in.
The good ones. The scary ones. The mean ones and the bad ones. I like to say to them, “Hi guys. I wasn’t expecting you. It’s 4am after all. Even though you tend to visit me at odd hours, you’re welcome here. All of you. In fact, come a little closer. You look like you could use a warm body.”
Then, I like to imagine all those scary, unpleasant thoughts cuddling up on a big fluffy couch with me. You can picture them as cute little creatures or you can even imagine they’re different versions of yourself as a child.
(I notice once they find a seat, their frantic, rushing energy starts to slow down. If they allow me, I hug them.)
I give them all the time they need to let them settle in and get comfy.
Once they’re all a little more relaxed, I start to pay attention to my breath.
I tune in to the rise and fall.
Then, I add a very, very simple, one line mantra.
To find the mantra, I noodle around in my mind a little until I come up with something that feels true enough for the moment. If it feels false, I let it go and search for another.
You want it to feel soothing, kind, true and SIMPLE. Key word= simple.
It might be:
“My mind is calm, my body’s at ease.”
“I am safe and secure.”
Sometimes even, “I am relaxed” works wonders.
If the scary, mean, uneasy thoughts want to pipe up, I just say, “I know. I hear you. Come sit. Get cozy.” I don’t try to argue with them or obsess over them. I let them just have some space so they can settle again.
Then, I return back to my breath and back to my very simple mantra.
From there, it’s only a matter of time before I fall back asleep.
The more I’ve practiced this process, the quicker I have been able to get back to sleep, almost as if waking up never happened to begin with.
You can try this simple practice on your own.
However, I also promised you a little gift.
Recently inside The Movement, I released FIVE ALIVE: 10 short Mantra Meditations For Any Circumstance. (They are all about 5 minutes)
Below are 3 of my favorites.
You can click on the images to have a listen.
(You don’t need to be a member of The Movement. These are my gifts to you.)
Once you give them a try, I would love to know how they were for you?
Did the 5 minutes help soothe you? Do you think this is something you might like to fit into your day now and again?
It’s amazing what some breathing and a very simple mantra can do!
I can’t wait to hear from you and as always, thanks for reading!
P.S. If you want to access the other seven 5 minute Mantra Meditations, sign up for the 7-day free trial of The Movement and check out the Five Alive Series!
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