Awake at nightRemember: Sleep problems are not created in the night! Avoid trying too hard to sleep. Trying hard to sleep and then failing creates frustration and emotions that raise our state of awareness and prevent sleep. If our mind hasn’t anything else to do it tries to sleep or, alternatively, starts to rotate endless worries. Our biggest worry is the sleep itself (‘I am not going to be able to do everything I planned tomorrow. I will be so tired tomorrow that it will be a disaster. My life is from hell’). To distract our mind from worrying it’s recommended to focus on breathing and sensations, counting sheep or creating images of something positive and comforting. This said the most healing things can be done in the day time when we should avoid thinking and talking about sleep. Sleep should come so naturally, yet the more we become anxious about not sleeping the less effortless it becomes. There are of course some things we all need to ensure to prepare ourselves for good sleep, but when trying to sleep too hard overdoing the sleep routines can actually work against us. Trying to sleep is forcing something that should feel heavenly and natural. When we lose the joy of going to sleep and the natural skill of letting go, the sleep problem is ready to dominate. In the worst case scenario we over-do the whole going to sleep routines. We might go to bed hours too early (just to ensure we get enough sleep), we might rest at home the whole day (over-relaxing our bodies and minds), we might start to avoid social life (to not get too excited or disrupt rhythms).  In fact the opposite works beneficially for sleep: more exercise, normal social life, less rest and spending ~8-9 hours in bed! We tend to over-do sleeping routines especially when something big is expected the next day. We really want to ensure a good night sleep before a ‘big presentation’, and as a consequence we go to sleep extra early and then keep tossing and turning the whole night! Sounds familiar? Keeping regular daily rhythm helps at night as does relaxing during the day. However when tired but wired it’s good to learn different relaxation techniques. Learning mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises, relaxation exercises and positive thinking (getting rid of excessive worrying and fears) and having worry moments during the day will also help during the night.

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