Does falling asleep in ten minutes sound more like a dream than reality? It’s time that we learn that sleep is a learned activity. 1.You can do this. For some it feels like magic the first time. And yet, many people find it takes a month of bootcamp training before sleeping effortlessly in less than ten minutes becomes natural. That’s why doctors say it is a learned activity. Do you notice a wandering mind, overloaded to-do lists, and inconsistent daily routine? Find out what is holding you back. 2. Don’t give up. You CAN get this. It’s worth it. You are worth it.
My method has four parts:
Thank – Flop – Breathe – Dream
There are many ways to unclutter your mind. Here are a few thankfulness exercises.
Meditate on the highlights of your day. Allow your soul to genuinely connect with appreciating those elements.
Keep a thankfulness journal. Write three things that you are thankful for each day before bed. 3.
Hang your worries on Jesus’s loving arms.
Do slow sustained stretches that relax your muscles. 4.
Release your muscles to flop each leg and arm into a relaxed position. 5.
Take a deep yawn.
Focus on your breathing. Breath in your belly rises, breath out your belly falls. 6.
Decide what you want to dream about.
Go to a happy, peaceful, relaxing place.
Start the story in your mind and drift off effortlessly.
Here is my daughter’s dream time script:
Cupcake Sleep Visualization
Lay flat on your back. (pause until she does)
Flop. Tense and relax your muscles. Squeeze the last drop out of a lemon and then go limp.
Yawn. Raise your belly as you yawn. Close your lips. Breath in deeply through your nose, and slooowly breeeeath ooooouuuut. Deeply breath in, and slooowly breeeeath ooooouuuut.
Close your eyes and imagine…
Far away in dreamland there is a dream academy enveloped in sparkling rainbow light. You hear the comforting song of the little yellow bird perched in the branches of a willow tree and you follow the other dreamers as you hang your worries, problems and questions on the strong, sturdy branches of the familiar tree. Take a moment to confide your concerns in Jesus’ loving arms and invite him to fill you with the peace that passes all understanding. (pause)
You follow the dreamers down the path where small low shimmering clouds float near the ground. Each of the other dreamers is choosing a soft fluffy cloud to lie down on. You see your favorite comfy cozy cloud hovering nearby waiting patiently for you. You lie back to look up at the beautiful night sky. You flop your legs, flop your arms, yawn a long deep yawn, and then flop your eyes and your face. Sparkling iridescent dream dust swirls through the air and drifts slowly down upon you. You feel the touch of the breeze on your cheek as the warm inviting dream dust drifts slowly down, slowly down, until your skin sparkles like the stars in the sky. You feel your body becoming lighter and lighter. Your heart is bursting with contentment and pride.
Dream class has been fun and rewarding. Congratulations Cami today we celebrate that you are a master dreamer. You have learned to find your dreamland by keeping your eyes closed and looking just above the top of your nose, between your eyes. Do you see your special place? Yes, your favorite place is getting closer and your shimmery cloud floats you down to that place that is so special to you. (pause) Your special place is a wonderful place to relax and dream.
There is a path that leads to a comfortable spot. Walk down the path and when you find the perfect place, lie down and relax. You sink down into the luxuriously soft green grass and feel the sun shine down on you warming your face and your skin. Enjoy how wonderful it feels. The sunbeams tickle your golden hair and make it glow and sparkle like the glistening of the light on newly fallen snow. You sigh with pleasure because it feels so delightful. What do you see above you? (pause) What do you hear? (pause) Remember everything about your special place: how it looks, feels, smells. You can come here whenever you’d like. It is always with you in the twinkle of your eyes, and the sparkle of your smile. Take a deep breath in and out. (pause) Take three more deep breaths and with each breath, find yourself getting sleepier and even more relaxed. (pause) Breathing in you are relaxed, breathing out you are relaxed. (pause) Breathing in, you are happy; breathing out, you are happy. (pause) Breathing in you are safe, breathing out you are safe. (pause) Breathing in the Holy Spirit guides you, breathing out the Holy Spirit guides you. (pause)
The Creator of the universe smiles upon you and tosses a twinkling star out into the night sky. Its shimmering sparkles sprinkle down upon you; filling your special place with warmth and making all your dreams come true. (pause) You sleep soundly and dream peacefully all night long.
- Nichole Plaster, “Sleep: A Learned Activity — Prescribe Yourself Some Sleep Science,” NicholePlaster.com, April 1, 2017 : http://www.nicholeplaster.com/2017/04/01/sleep-a-learned-activity-prescribe-yourself-some-sleep-science/
- Nichole Plaster, “WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S HOLDING BACK YOUR RHYTHM? NicholePlaster.com, September 22, 2017 : http://www.nicholeplaster.com/2017/09/22/want-to-know-whats-holding-back-your-rhythm/
- Florence Servan Schreiber, “Le pouvoir de la gratitude,” TEDxParisSalon, 2012 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZUfJpVxUNI
- Amy Schlinger, “7 Yoga Stretches to Help You Fall Asleep Fast,” SHAPE, Jun 22, 2015 : https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/7-yoga-stretches-help-you-fall-asleep-fast
- Patti Teel, The Floppy Sleep Game Book: A Proven 4- Week Plan to Get Your Child to Sleep, https://www.amazon.com/Floppy-Sleep-Game-Book-Proven/dp/0399532005
- Kim Pratt, LCSW, “5 Minute Mindful Breathing Exercise,” healthypsych.com, February 11, 2014 : https://healthypsych.com/5-minute-mindful-breathing-exercise/