Here’s my night routine: check that everything’s locked then go to bed and blast my eyeballs with artificial light. After they’re good and burned out, I put it up and immediately go to sleep. Sound familiar? Probably all but the last part. What’s my secret? First, as far back as I can remember, I’ve been part-Asian. This is best done by careful selection of your parents. (Anyone who knows any Asian males will know their ability to fall asleep at any time.) Second, I’ve been practicing self-hypnosis for years. Does hypnosis put you to sleep? No (contrary to popular belief), but it does relieve stress. Let’s be honest, if you have trouble going to sleep, or if you wake up several times at night, unless you have to pee, it’s because your mind has chosen that time to wonder if you locked all the doors, why you’re horrible, and what you’d do if all your loved ones were in separate but simultaneous car accidents tomorrow.
Tip 1: add a nightly 5-10 min de-stress routine – somewhere besides your bed. What you’ll do is close your eyes and think of a time/place where you feel safe and comfortable. Feel that in your body – this is your “base”. Now let any stressful thought come to you, but watch it happen from a distance. This could be watching it on a screen or from above. It could be from today, your past, or hypothetical. Take 30 seconds to watch that scene resolve in a good way. Instead of failing your presentation, watch a version where you do really well. Return to “base”. Then repeat the whole process with other stressful thoughts that come – watching each resolve in a good way. The same thought might come multiple times – just watch it resolve in a new way each time.
Tip 2: now go to bed and mentally say to yourself the time you want to wake up refreshed at. Then, do a relaxation routine. This is simple – just relax each segment of your body, one by one. Sequence doesn’t matter: you can scan up/down or jump around. It’s useful to do it 2-3x to really relax.