We’ve all had the experience of crawling into bed, dog-tired, ready for a wonderful night’s sleep when – bam! – suddenly a thought hits you. You start wondering about what tomorrow will bring or whether you left the toaster on or any number of other random things.
It’s aggravating, but there is a good way to get around it.
The first thing to do is to stop trying to fall asleep. Trying to force yourself to go to sleep is only going to make the problem worse. Instead, try just focusing on simply laying down peacefully. Turn your attention to the parts of your body that are touching the bed.
Ask yourself if the bed is holding you up alright. Is it doing its job or are you trying to hold yourself up? Does the bed need your help? Realize that you can just let that need to hold yourself up dissolve away. You don’t need it and right now it doesn’t serve you. Let the bed do its job.
Now as you’re lying there, letting the bed do all the work, imagine that your entire body is made of wet cement. You’re heavy and sinking deeper and deeper into the bed.
As you imagine this sinking try to fight back against it. Imagine your muscles straining to lift themselves off the bed but being weighed down by their heaviness. You’d love to get up, but your limbs are just too heavy. This little mini-battle will actually help to relax your muscles even deeper.
The key to relaxing this way is to keep your thoughts less like a set of commands and more like a daydream. Remember that you can’t force yourself to relax, so just go through this relaxation sequence from the stand point of playfulness. Just wonder ideally what it would be like if your body were heavy like wet cement.