If we compromise on our sleep, we compromise on our performance, our mood, and our relationships.Mental Health Foundation
We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep. However it’s not always clear what we can do to make it happen.
When we have trouble sleeping it’s often because we’re under pressure or worried about something. The lack of sleep makes us less able to function during the day and can lead us to worry even more. And we get into a vicious cycle.
There are many ways to improve the quality of our sleep overall. What I want to do today is share a method to help you get to sleep or, if you wake during the night, to get back to sleep. I learnt it from John Perry during my coach training. The aim is to help you focus and quiet your mind to prevent rumination on things that you can do nothing about in that moment.
It goes like this:
- Close your eyes and imagine you’re looking at a huge whiteboard. It’s so big that it fills the whole of your vision.
- You’ve got a pen in your hand. On the board write 100 as big as you can. Fill the board.
- In the other hand you’ve got a cloth. Clean the board from side to side. Follow the motion with your eyes.
- Now write 99, again as big as you can. And clean it off, wiping from side to side.
- Keep going in the same way, always counting down…
I’ve used this on many occasions and in my experience it works every time — I’m usually asleep before I get to 80.
Next time you’re lying awake, give it a try.
For more on how to get a good night’s sleep, check out this series of sleep guides from Sleepio.