As adults it seems easy enough to fall asleep, but anxiety changes that. The harder we fight to sleep, the worse the anxiety, and we just can’t get to sleep. This post can help you know how to fall asleep with anxiety faster than you thought possible.
I have no idea why negative thoughts pop up in the middle of the night. It’s common, apparently. Millions of people suffer from middle of the night anxiety.
Visions Of Doom Dance In Their Heads
No matter how positive I am during the day, no matter how focused I am on my goals and intentions, when I wake up in the middle of the night, my life seems bleak and hopeless. I am assaulted by feelings of futility and visions of doom.
I’ve researched this phenomenon, and all I’ve discovered is that it’s a prevalent occurrence and it feeds a cycle of insomnia.
I used to suffer from this kind of insomnia. I’d go to sleep just fine, but a couple hours later, I’d wake up, and my thoughts would race around into all sorts of horrifying what ifs.
Because I don’t want to take medication to deal with this anxiety, I decided to look for a way to cope with these feelings and thoughts. I tried deep breathing. Didn’t work. Tried progressive relaxation of my muscles. Didn’t work. Tried to get up and read. That just left me feeling exhausted the next day.
Then I met a man who told me he could fall asleep within a minute under any circumstances, even anxiety. He told me he’d discovered his technique in World War II when he had to sleep in fox holes.
Going To Sleep Is Simple
I asked him what his technique was, and he told me all he did was relax his facial muscles.
“That’s it?” I asked. It sounded too simplistic.
He assured me it worked.
He was right.
It works … maybe not quite as fast as he says, but it works.
I began using this facial relaxation technique in the middle of the night, and I combined it with a visualization technique. The two-step process turns off the anxiety and puts me back to sleep every time.
Two Steps To Fall Asleep
Here’s what you do:
1. Open your mouth really wide, pull your lips back from your gums and squeeze your eyes shut. Doing this, you’re both stretching and contracting your facial muscles.
Now, relax your face. Let it go. Concentrate on making all the muscles around your eyes, nose, mouth, and jaw lax.
This should only take a few seconds.
2. Imagine that you’re lying in bed at the end of a day in your ideal life. You look how you want to look, feel like you want to feel. You’re as healthy as you want to be, as rich as you want to be, as successful as you want to be. All is well in your life. You’ve had a great day, and it’s time to sleep the sleep of the secure and content.
For me, usually within a couple minutes, I’m asleep. On the rare occasions that I’m not, I start over with step one and do the process again. That always works.
The thoughts that cause middle of the night anxiety and despair aren’t real. We don’t have to lie there and try to figure anything out. All we have to do is let the thoughts go so we can go back to sleep. When we wake up in the morning, we are in control of our thoughts once again.
This two-step process allows you to do let go of the anxious thoughts. It’s has brought me huge relief from middle of the night anxiety, and I’m sure it will do the same for you.