Writing & Living in Hanoi, Vietnam
After pursuing happiness, Hà Nội Scribbles takes a tilt at pursuing sleep.
Once again it involves a bit of imagination and is based on nothing more than my own meandering experience. All I can vouch for is its effectiveness for me personally. Hopefully, it will work for you too.
So, you can’t get to sleep? Try this.
Get comfy in bed, preferably on your back with the light off. Firstly, you have to empty your mind. If you are thinking about what happened during the day, or what’s happening tomorrow, or have three hundred other thoughts buzzing around your brain you are never going to nod off.
What helps me achieve this state of mind emptying is to lie there, eyes shut, concentrating on nothing more than the colour black. Once you have managed to switch off your brain, you can move on to the next step.
Now, imagine you are lying on the beach at the water’s edge on the wet sand on a pleasantly warm day. You are sinking into the sand a little. The warm waves are lapping at your toes. Once you have this fixed in your mind, you should start to feel relaxed.
Next, imagine the waves are gently lapping over your feet. Every time you get caressed by a wave you feel that part of your body becomes more and more relaxed. Once you have felt this relaxation take place, imagine the waves are creeping up to your ankles. And they become relaxed.
As each part of your anatomy, in turn, relaxes you can move the wave higher up. With each wave flowing over you your body relaxes. Imagine the ebbing and flowing of each wave. In turn, it relaxes your muscles and takes away with it any tension.
Concentrate on each individual wave and the way your body is increasingly becoming relaxed. Eventually, you will become so relaxed it will be difficult to fight sleep.
If your waves are reaching all the way up to your neck, it’s not working for you. Stop. Because you definitely do not want to start thinking you are about to drown.
I can testify to this. I once fell asleep spread out on a bench seat on a ferry. The gentle rocking sent me to sleep okay but also sparked off this really vivid dream that I was drowning. Next thing I knew I was on the floor gasping for breath like I was drowning for real. It is definitely not the way to go.
I would be interested to hear if this technique works for other people. I learnt this technique, believe it or not, at primary (elementary) school by a teacher who was clearly ahead of her time. If this technique enables you to reach the land of nod, please leave a comment below. Sweet dreams.