Get the Perfect Bed Head; EDITED Experts Reveal Best Ways to Calm Your Mind So You Can Drift off and Enjoy a Lovely Deep Sleep

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), July 25, 2017 | Go to article overview

Get the Perfect Bed Head; EDITED Experts Reveal Best Ways to Calm Your Mind So You Can Drift off and Enjoy a Lovely Deep Sleep


Byline: SALLY MCLEAN

OUR bodies may be tired at night but what often keeps us awake into the wee hours are our busy brains, whirring and worrying.

Here's how to slow your thoughts and calm your mind at bedtime, so it drifts into a deep slumber.

GO TO THE BEACH Researchers at the University of Oxford found insomniacs who were told to visualise a "happy place" or a relaxing scene drifted off to sleep 20 minutes sooner than when they were instructed to think of "nothing" or to "count sheep".

Other research has shown that insomniacs tend to have a higher percentage of unpleasant images in their mind when they try to sleep compared with good sleepers. So change your view and you might just change your sleep mindset.

USE YOUR FIVE SENSES When you are visualising your happy place, make it as vivid as possible.

Reading book, "Experience it through what you see, hear, taste, touch and smell, moving through the scene on a journey for the senses," said Dr Tania Ahern (cbtinsomnia.co.uk). "By constantly cycling through all the senses, it leaves little room to get stuck and distracted back to worrying." THINK OF GOOD THINGS Replay your day and count your blessings.

to music essential will help brain Every night, write down three good things that went well and what caused them.

"This activity literally trains our brains to start noticing what's right, not just what's wrong," said psychologist Vanessa King, author of 10 Keys to Happier Living (published by Headline).

"Being in a grateful state of mind seems to help us get to sleep quicker, sleep longer and better."

PLAY MIND GAMES Give your brain a mental exercise to do to focus away from your worries.

"By actively directing our thoughts in a specific, controlled way, we can fall asleep quicker," said intuitive therapist Alejandra Sarmiento, (alejandrasarmiento.net) "Count back from 100 - or 1000 - in groups of three. The rhythmic pattern of counting is very soothing. It slows our breath and our attention is focused on the present."

oils the INTERRUPT THOUGHTS "If your mind is being hijacked in bed by unproductive worries, try saying a neutral word like "the" " repeatedly every five witch off seconds," said Dr Ahern. "Engaging the part of the brain called the Broca's area helps disengage the area responsible for all that internal worry dialogue.

"Repeat the word until the worries are extinguished and you'll be in a better frame of mind for sleep." SING A LULLABY You may feel daft but singing yourself a childhood lullaby that holds positive associations with dropping off to sleep can trigger the same relaxed and "safe" state of mind in you as an adult. …

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