FACT: I used to have trouble falling (and staying) asleep. While practicing yoga and meditation (plus some targeted supplementation and nutrition hacks) have helped TREMENDOUSLY, I still have nights where my mind is racing and I can't seem to wind down.
Last night was one of those nights.
I thought I would have NO trouble sleeping - I spent a ton of time outside, got plenty of exercise AND went to an hour-long gong meditation (yeah... that was COOL!). I even told my friend Nat "Oooh I'm going to sleep SO well tonight."
Yet somehow when I got home and got into bed I could not relax. My mind felt like it was going a million miles per minute. In the past I would've freaked out more: UGH I'm not going to sleep tonight, I have so much going on tomorrow, just FALL ASLEEP ALREADY!! Instead, I used some of my tools to quiet my mind and calm my body so that I could fall asleep peacefully.
Here are the three things I do when I'm having trouble sleeping:
1. Journal - I journal every night, but find it especially helpful on the nights where my mind is busy. I write down whatever is going on in my head (worries, to-do lists, things I'm excited about, etc) and imagine those thoughts literally coming OUT of my brain and onto the paper.
2. Breathe - Regulating your breath is the easiest thing you can do to calm down. When you breath slowly and deeply, you drop into your body's parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for stimulation of "rest and digest" functions of the body, so simply slowing your breath can drop you into this place of calm and ease. Try this breathing technique, it works every time.
3. Brain Balance - Brain balancing is a tool that I learned during my Universal Health Principles training. This simple practice has the power to stop anxiety in it's tracks and, like regulating your breath, brain balancing helps drop you into your parasympathetic nervous system. I'll probably write a longer post or make a video with more on this practice, but for now watch THIS HOW-TO VIDEO and just try it!
These three practices are so simple yet so powerful. Next time you are having trouble falling asleep, try one (or all three!) of these.
Do you ever struggle with falling or staying asleep? What do you do? Leave a comment below and let me know! I love to hear from you :)