How To Get To Sleep Without Medication
There's nothing worse than lying in bed, tired, but sleep eludes you. You lie awake, you toss and turn, you get up and have warm milk, and still your tiredness does not convert into sleep.
From one who survived a stressful job, illness in the family and has had a few sleepless nights, some advice on what worked and what didn't.
The best thing, that usually works, is a short pattern of deep breathing. This is how it's done.
First, get yourself as comfortable as you can, in a position that you can stay in without moving for 5 or 10 minutes at least. Lie still and allow your heart rate to drop - this usually takes about 5 minutes. Then breathe in as deep a breath as your lungs can hold. Let it out and breathe normally for about 10 to 20 breaths. You will notice that after the deep breath, you will hardly need to breathe at all. This is good, as your whole body can stay almost perfectly still. Your system is well oxygenated and doesn't require much breathing.
Then take a second deep breath, and let it out again. Once again, relax and breathe as your body requires, which may be next to nothing. If after another 20 breaths you are still awake, repeat the process again. At the same time you are doing this, imagine yourself in a peaceful place, like a nature reserve, or overlooking the sea. Sweet dreams!
SOME OF THE PROBLEMS
If you are very worried about something, this can prevent you from getting to sleep, even with the deep breathing technique described above. In this case, you need to realise that there are certain things that one can do nothing about. If you've done all you can, then leave the rest to God. Leave you cares with Him and do not worry. Worry achieves nothing. It fixes nothing. It helps nobody. So stop worrying, relax, take some deep breaths and drift off into beautiful sleep; then you will awake refreshed and much better equipped to tackle the day's problems.
A BEDTIME STORY
Even when people you love are in trouble; if there's nothing you can do to help, then having a good night's sleep is not a sin - you're not letting anybody down. I remember flying into an army base by chopper to pick up a major. The chopper had no seats in it, but as the chopper touched down, the major jumped in, and we lifted off immediately. The major lay down on the floor of the chopper and was asleep before we lost sight of the base. He had work to do up ahead, but instead of worrying, he used the flight time of an hour to get enought sleep so that he could handle the next task. And that's how we should be. Sleep when you can with no worries.
SOME NOT SO GOOD SOLUTIONS
Counting sheep doesn't seem to work. Eventually you have to get up and fetch the calculator, if you're counting the legs and dividing by four. A warm drink seems to help to relax one, but not enough to be the total solution to sleeplessness. Going to bed after an argument is also not a good idea unless you make peace first. It may be better to say sorry even if you are right, then spend the night with your eyes wide open and your stomach in a knot. Forgiveness and reconciliation in any form is good for having a good sleep.
Well, Yawn, that's it. Bed time now. Sleep tight.