We fall asleep when we are distracted from trying to fall asleep.
If the thought of a good night's rest is foreign to you, first of all, I'm so sorry. Suffering from sleep issues is no joke; it can negatively affect one's mental, emotional and physical health. And ... you are not alone, research shows that over 68% of Americans struggle with some kind of sleep issue. Personally, I think that might be underreported based on how often this topic is brought up with clients, friends and family.
Sleepiness can affect one's vigilance, reaction times, learning abilities, alertness, mood, hand-eye coordination, and memory. Sleepiness has been identified as the cause of a growing number of on-the-job accidents, automobile crashes and multi-model transportation tragedies.
Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all model to fix this issue because there are many factors that go into sleep issues and everyone's experience is unique to them. There are, however, some things that can help support a healthier sleeping environment, which can help reduce the suffering around our sleep issues. I often compare these tools to when we are ill; we tend to nurture ourselves more when we don't feel well (hopefully). We might rest more, wear more comfortable clothing, eat nourishing soup and lay with our favorite blanket. These things don't necessarily take away the illness, but they help comfort us during times of difficulty/suffering. When we provide ourselves an environment during times of suffering, we're offering self-compassion, which inherently is on the path to healing. Here are a few sleep hygiene recommendations:
And this is where I can come with help as a mediation teacher. I have recorded a guided Yoga Nidra Meditation that supports deep rest and is evidenced-based in helping decrease sleep issues/concerns. This meditation has thousands of downloads on Insight Timer and has been featured as a fan favorite - and I want to share it with you directly.
Think of this meditation as an offering of compassion to yourself. It might not heal your sleep issues, but it's on the path to relieving the mental suffering around your sleep issues.
Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) is the powerful practice of conscious rest that systematically relaxes and unwinds our physical, emotional, and mental tension. Yoga Nidra helps to break down these patterns through a guided bilateral body scan, breath awareness and visualizations to reach resting states usually only experienced in the deepest levels of sleep. True healing begins with deep rest.
For a small fee, you can download my guided yoga nidra meditation here. Or you can find my free guided yoga nidra mediation at Insight Timer