I don’t always sleep well and despite for years expending effort on other areas of my mental and physical health it has remained a problem.
Lately the problem has been compounded by frequent nightly visits to the toilet, which I find incredibly annoying but have come to accept as it’s largely out of my control. A recent blood test has shown no cause for concern. To help, I resist my night time love of fruit and limit my night time fluid intake.
I’ve tried intense exercise, relaxation techniques, stretching, listening to music, reading and other activities in an effort to improve my sleep, nothing has shown consistent results. What has been working is simply forcing myself to stay in bed longer, to not adhere to a set schedule. The kids are old enough to take care of themselves and I have the luxury of setting my own work schedule. This hasn’t meant sleeping in until noon unfortunately, that’s a talent I lost when I stopped being a teenager, but it has meant that when I wake up at 3 or 4am alert and ready to start my day, I force myself to lay there for an hour. Eventually I fall back to sleep until sometime between 6 – 7am, which is sleeping in for me.
We introduce visualization techniques to kids on one of our podcasts and I have found that useful as well. If during one of my frequent trips to the bathroom I find my mind focusing on thoughts of the upcoming day, I switch my thinking to a calm and relaxing place, an imaginary place for me. That place lately has been a small room full of books, with a fire place, and a comfortable leather chair.
It’s been working most nights.