What To Do When You Can’t Sleep
With the right approach, you can reliably fall asleep within a matter of minutes. One of the keys to smoothly falling asleep is relaxation.
For thousands of years, relaxation has been a central focus of spiritual and cultural practices, enabling a sense of calm and connection with oneself and the surrounding world.
Only in recent decades, though, have meditative practices for relaxation become a focus of scientific research, which has come to identify four key elements3 for fostering the relaxation response.
A quiet environment. Quiet does not have to mean completely silent. Calming sounds or music can be beneficial. Loud, abrasive sounds or noises should be avoided.
A focus of attention. A word, phrase, mantra, breathing pattern, or mental image can all be used to draw your attention and reduce thinking about external concerns.
A passive attitude. Accepting that it’s normal for your mind to wander allows you to remain at-ease and draw your focus back to the object of your attention.
A comfortable position. Finding a cozy place to relax is critical. Naturally, when relaxing to fall asleep, the recommended position is lying in bed.
All of the following methods are ways of achieving these core elements so that you can calmly fall asleep. Keeping these basics in mind empowers you to adjust these methods to suit your preferences.