Getting enough sleep is an important key to health and happiness. Being well rested allows you to think clearly and act energetically. Unfortunately, millions of people suffer insomnia, experiencing the tiredness, dull mindedness, irritability, and many other negative effects that result from lack of shut-eye.
Our lives tend to be busy, often from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep. Our brains need time to decompress from all the thinking we make them do during waking hours.
But an overloaded brain that continues working hard after you lie down at night will not let you get the rest you need. Instead, your mind keeps churning as you toss and turn. Your thoughts turn to worries, and you start fretting about everything that comes to mind. You worry especially about how horrible you're going to feel tomorrow after getting no sleep tonight.
Insomnia may have any of a number of causes - emotional, mental, or physical. Menopausal women, in particular, often suffer from sleeplessness.
If you suffer from insomnia, for whatever reason, consider taking some easy steps towards eliminating this nasty sleep-thief. Here's how.
Changing your habits before bed is the key to better sleep.
Replace any habitual activities that tend to raise your energy level or challenge your brainwaves with simply relaxing rituals. Take a bubble bath. Put on soothing music. Cuddle with your partner.
Give yourself a few minutes right before bedtime to write in your journal. Write whatever you wish, remembering that re-connecting with a peaceful place is your purpose for right now. You may want to reflect on the events of your day, or explore one thing that happened, or take a tangent somewhere else entirely and pour out a fantasy or a new idea.
Therapeutic Journaling at the end of the day is a way to clear the mind of thoughts and worries and to frame your day positively. Writing "Night Notes" in your journal will help you process what happened during the day and let it go.
The content is far less important than the practice itself, which will quickly begin to cure your insomnia.
Here are three suggestions for clearing your mind.
1. Write down anything that is haunting your thoughts. What's on your mind?
You can't do much about it now that it's bedtime, so write it down to get it out of your head and onto the page. Documenting any loose ends allows your brain to relax instead of obsess. Whatever it is, you can deal with it tomorrow.
2. Write down your victories and gratitudes.
What things did you accomplish today, big and small? What are you thankful for today? Write down as many things as you can.
Reflecting on what you did accomplish today (rather than what you didn't), and what blessings you have (rather than those you don't), will help you contentedly drift off to sleep. Over time, this gratitude practice will get you in the habit of framing the events of your day in a positive manner, no matter what happens.
3. Close your entry with reflection or prayer that expresses any blessings or wishes you have on your mind.
Writing a quick reflection or prayer is a ritual for closing out the day intentionally and letting it go. As you shut your journal, let a sense of closure and peace come over you. As you close your eyes, let your mind go quiet, and let your muscles relax. Know that your day is complete, and your sleep will come easily.
By Mari L. McCarthy - Journal / Writing Therapist. Are you looking for more information on journal writing and the therapeutic effects of journaling? Please visit http://www.CreateWriteNow.com and my blog at http://blog.createwritenow.com/. My trademarked program, Journaling for the Health of It! TM, helps my clients live healthier and happier lives.