Let’s Go Back to Sleep
By Celeste DeCamps
I don’t know about you, but I really
don’t want my brain to eat itself.
It’s 3 a.m., and I’m awake. I was
asleep, but now I’m not.
The first thing I say to myself is, “It’s early—go back to sleep.”
My mind says, “Nope. I’m going to visit past regrets or scare myself silly over future fears. While I’m deciding, here’s a song for you to listen to on an endless loop: I love you. You love me. We’re a happy family…”
I want to punch myself in the face.
While I lie in bed, torturing myself, other thoughts enter my head. For example, I just read an article that said being sleep deprived makes your brain eat itself. This explains so many things for me, but right now all I want to do is go back to sleep.
It’s now 4 a.m. Seems like a good time to scroll through Facebook. I want my pillow to smother me.
There are a million reasons we have trouble sleeping, and it seems like there are a million solutions for sleeplessness. I have found three solutions that work for me, and the best part is they have no side effects:
Breathe deep. When your thoughts are going a mile a minute, take a deep breath and focus on counting. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of six. Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Try this type of slow, deep breathing a few times. It may calm your body and mind enough to help you get back to sleep.
Tense your muscles. Start with your feet: Curl your toes and hold it for a few seconds. Then tighten up your leg muscles and hold it for a few seconds. See where I’m going with this? Slowly tense and relax each body part, including your neck. By the time you get to your head, your body should feel completely relaxed. This technique also helps quiet your mind.
Be grateful. One way to stop the crazy merry-go-round in your head is to focus on the now. Take stock of what’s good in your life. It could be as simple as being grateful for your fluffy pillow. Go through your day and find moments that make you smile. When your mind wants to take you away from the positive, rein it in by recognizing how good it feels to be under the covers. Practicing mindfulness may help you find your way back to dreamland.
Our subconscious mind tries to help us solve problems, deal with emotional overload and convince us that we don’t need any cookies right now. It’s not always easy to get the rest we need, but it’s important that we do. Our physical and emotional health relies on sleep to recharge our batteries. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want my brain to eat itself.
Here’s hoping this article will put you to sleep. Goodnight.
Celeste DeCamps is a motivational speaker. She shares her lifetime experience of stage-dance and movement through engaging stories and audience interaction, guiding people as they discover tools that will keep them feeling energized and confident moving forward. For more information, visit CelesteDeCamps.com.