Top tips for getting through a sleepless night

Most people that are susceptible to bouts of insomnia, even if cured, will still have the odd terrible night.

A typical scenario; 2.30 am and you have either woken up or worse, you have not gone to sleep yet…Frustration is rising and you are just getting more and more upset….sound familiar?

So, what would I recommend? Well for a start, don’t just lay there and wind yourself up, if you do that, it will make matters worse and you probably will not sleep at all. Try and follow my emergency tips for the best possible outcome!

You know by this point, whatever happens you will be tired in the morning, so try and stop thinking about that, and follow these steps:

  1. Break the cycle of frustration by getting up and make a small cup of chamomile tea. Don’t be tempted to turn the computer on and keep the lights low so your body does not think it’s time to get up.
  2. Do some breathing, you can get The Sleep Guru’s free breath meditation download here. Follow the instructions and just surrender to your bad night and release the frustration. You can do this in bed, but it’s better to do it laying on a blanket on the floor with a pillow under your head and something under your knees so your back is relaxed. It will re-prepare you to go to bed and start again. If you do this in bed, you will have an expectation that you will go to sleep and try too hard. When the breath meditation is finished, hum like a bumble bee for 21 breaths. The vibration you create with the sound of the bumble bee is extremely relaxing for the brain, releases negative emotions and stimulates serotonin.
  3. Get back into bed and repeat the following sleep mantra. This mantra is in the Sanskrit language which is based on vibration and is said to invoke sleep. The ancient yogi’s had various mantras for invoking different states, this one is for sleep. Om Agasthi Shahina (om Ah-gah ́-stee Shah-ee ́-nah). Repeat it softly, imagine it to be like the morning mist rising off a lake. Just repeat it for as long as you feel comfortable or until you start to feel like you are dozing off.

So what of the next day? Whatever happens you will be tired in the morning and will need to take steps to get through the day. With less than 4 hours sleep, you will be very, very tired, so follow these recovery tips:

  1. If possible cancel everything that is not necessary (lunch meetings with friends, coffee meetings and whatever you have in the evening).
  2. Eye drops are useful as your eyes will feel dry and will probably be bloodshot. Not the whitening type, you want the moisturizing ones.
  3. Try to be very conscious of your breath throughout the day. Make a conscious effort to breathe deeply all day. If possible go somewhere where you can be quiet at least 4 times during the day for 10 minutes, close your eyes and breathe deeply into your stomach and as you breathe out just feel like you are letting everything go. The breath is very, very regenerative and will help you get through the day.
  4. Positive affirmations are a great energy booster. Instead of thinking about how tired you are, if you notice yourself doing that, stop right there, take a deep breath, say to yourself I feel great and smile! Say it like you really do feel great, not one of those false smiles, that will make you feel worse. If you smile, you will automatically feel better without question. It’s impossible to feel miserable and smile at the same time – try it!
  5. When you get home, set your phone alarm for 40 minutes, do the breath meditation again and the bumble bee breath for 21 breaths, then just lay on your back and breathe deeply until the alarm goes off.
  6. Eat something very light and don’t drink alcohol.
  7. Pamper yourself…body scrub, candles, incense and soft music, try to avoid turning on the TV.
  8. Don’t be tempted to go to bed too early, go to bed at your normal time.

Love and blessings to you … remember, I have been there so I know how dreadful and debilitating no sleep can be. Hang in there … I promise you will not need to turn to sleeping pills.