The Power of Visualization

The Power of Visualization

Think sleep and you’re suddenly snoozing. This sounds like the perfect solution, as long as you’re safely in your bed at 2 a.m. and no one is making demands of you. But if no one is disturbing your sleep at night and you’re still not able to fall asleep, than the thought of instantly entering dreamland sounds like an unattainable fantasy.

Actually, Tibetan monks and Indian yogis have been able to sleep soundly for thousands of years. How? They harness the mind to promote relaxation and visualization. Add a little psychology to the mix and you may have the formula for eight to ten hours of sleep. Try the following techniques for a good night sleep.

1. Before Bed:

Prepare the place where you will sleep. Turn off the computer or television in your bedroom. Completely darken the room. Adjust the temperature so that your bedroom is cool. Make sure your mattress is comfortable.

Put on your favorite pajamas and sip a cup of herbal tea and when you’re done watching TV slip beneath the covers. You can start your relaxation technique now, or later if you can’t fall asleep on your own.

2. Begin:

You can start with progressive relaxation. Lie in bed and clench your right fist until you can’t squeeze any longer. Hold for ten seconds then release instantly. Then tension drains from your body through your right hand. Your right hand will feel limp and loose. Repeat with your left hand and feel the remaining tension leave your body. Afterwards, tense and relax your entire body one section at a time, from your forehead to the soles of your feet. This will leave you loose, languid and receptive to sleep.

The physical tension is only one part of the equation. The mental tension and the worry of “Will I fall asleep?” can bring that tightness in your jaw back immediately. Specialists suggest you imagine a time when you absolutely had to stay awake. Think of cracking the books during that all-nighter for your biology exam in college, or nursting your baby through a night of colic. Remember the weariness and the fight to keep your eyes open. At that time you could not give in to your urge to fall asleep. Now you remember the sheer exhaustion and you begin to doze. Concentrate on the memories, imagine yourself in that situation again and this time give yourself permission to enter a night of sleep.

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