How to Fall Asleep in 5 Minutes?

There is no “off” button. But here are a few tips

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash

There is no “off” button. But there are a few tips that might help you stop turning on your left side, then on your right side, then on your stomach, before repeating the whole process.

The reason why you can’t fall asleep it that you think too much. No big secret here.

You can feel your mind constantly running, whether you are thinking about the next day, feeling excited about your next trip, or dwelling on the fight you had earlier and the perfect punch line you could have said.

But that’s not the real reason. Thinking too much is a consequence.

Here is the cause:

You are not living in the moment

Thinking about yesterday or tomorrow is everything but being in the moment. In the present. In the very same space-time, your life is happening in, while you are elsewhere.

Short note: focusing on the Now has plenty of benefits. In fact, that is the best way to truly live your life.

You can’t stop your mind, therefore you can’t sleep.

You have to understand one thing: thinking is a good thing if it happens in the moment you choose. When you, and only you, decide to open the toolbox, take out your brain, and turn it on. When you’re done, switch it off, put it back, and get back to the real world. The outside.

“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.”
Homer, The Odyssey

How to turn off this constant stream of thoughts?

I suggest a short exercise. Find a calm place, and sit down. Close your eyes.

Pay attention to your breath. Don’t try to control it. Just observe. Feel the freshness of the air at the tip of your nose. Focus on this freshness as it enters your body, all the way to your lungs. Then, observe as your breathing pauses for a second, before the air, now warmer, gets out of your body. The process pauses again and starts over. Effortlessly. (unless you have a cold)

As you watch your breath, thoughts might appear. That’s okay. Even normal. The trick is not to catch these thoughts. If you catch them, they will gently grab your wrist, and take you with them. Without even noticing, you will be thinking and thinking about something whether in your past or in your future.

Observe the stream of thoughts, as you would observe clouds drifting behind a window. Take a step back in yourself, in your mind, and imagine that your eyes are the windows, behind which are the clouds: your thoughts. Watch them as they pass.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on your breath. Relax your whole body, starting with your foot, then your ankles, your legs, your belly, your chest, your hands, your arms, and your neck.

Be in the present. At the present time, you are sleeping. It is time for your body and your mind to get some rest. Be fully at it. Bring awareness in the process, the same way you would bring awareness to the moment you eat, chewing and tasting carefully the food.

Be here, and now.

Full-time traveler, trying to grasp and capture the essence of things in words — I write about life, fitness & food — auriane.alix.medium@gmail.com

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