Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Insomnia is one of the chief complaints the majority of my clients end up speaking with me about. Typically my clients contact me about other issues but insomnia always seems to be an secondary issue they are dealing with. Why? The primary reason is that most individuals have trouble turning off their minds at night. When it's time for bed, the body is aching to sleep while the mind keeps racing, worrying about one thing after another.
The key in turning off the mind is "TAKING CONTROL" of the mind. I had to put this is in all caps because I mean business. When I find my mind swirling with one worry or thought after another, I tell my mind, "Not now. It is my time to sleep. " I highly value my sleep because I am one of those individuals who needs a solid 8 hours to feel my best. I make sure I do everything I can to sleep well, otherwise I know I won't function at my full potential.
How do you turn off your mind? I highly recommend completely disconnecting from technology, TV, cell phone, or anything else that is overly stimulating, about 1-2 hours before bed. For some individuals who are permanently attached to their phone or laptop, this may be challenging. I know if I am checking work email right before bed, it is extremely hard for me to disconnect my mind because I am thinking about the emails I just read or my "To Do" list I need to complete. People will wonder, "what the heck am I supposed to do for 1-2 hours before bed? " Read, meditate, journal, do yoga, etc...The goal is to unwind from the day and allow your body to relax. I am a firm believer of easing into sleep instead of forcing yourself to all of a sudden fall asleep after going at 100 mph throughout the day.
When you find your mind controlling you, figure out how to just "let go" and allow your body to sleep. What I find amusing is that we often worry about things that we should never be wasting our energy worrying about in the first place. I had a MD tell me, "99% of what we worry about actually never happens." Doesn't that put worrying into perspective?
Colleen Canney is a Career, Life and Wellness Coach based in Seattle, WA. She coaches clients around the world and is available for coaching both via phone and email. For more information on Colleen, please visit her website at www.colleencanney.com or contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org