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Overthinking
November 22, 2014
4:19 am
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Col1993
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So, yesterday it happened again. I went to bed, listened to some tunes because I felt like it, but once I stopped I just felt so awake. My mind couldn't relax and I was thinking about oh-so-many-things-yet-again which kept me awake for plenty of hours before finally falling asleep.

Does this sounds familiar to anyone? Could anyone tell me how I could handle this?

November 22, 2014
8:11 am
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Phil Moufarrege
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Embrace it and you will find your sleeping patterns and life patterns shifting around to find the balance.
The real problem is that we have FIXED artificial duties at set times that get in the way of our natural intuitive patterns, such as school/work etc.

The best thing when trying to get to sleep and feeling like you can't is to not stress about that. Rather than repeatedly complaining "I can't sleep I can't sleep" doing so willl just keep you up. INstead just lie there with no intention to sleep or do anythin and you will find yourself drifting off (don't anticipate it).

If your body just wants to do soemthing listen to it and honour it. The more you listen to your intuition and your bodily signals the stronger your communication with your body and subconscious becomes. You can literally become your own teacher when you get good at this because all the feedback is given to you via your body.

@PhilMoufarrege
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November 22, 2014
9:48 am
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TommyTheHat
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Listening to music (fast, rock, excited music) can be a bit much for trying to wind down. Lights, computer, TV should all be put aside before bedtime. Your natural rhythms should be the focus. We are designed, as humans, to wake at first sign of light and settle at sunset. Darkness, and quiet is what we need to sleep although white noise often helps (the air conditioner or flowing water sounds etc). Sometimes you can lay in bed on your back and breathe. Focus on your breath in through your nose for a 4 count, hold for 7 and out through your mouth for 8. Do that a few times and then just breath naturally in and out through the nose but keep focusing on your breath. Focus on it filling your lungs right down to your pelvis and back up and out. Then start focusing on your whole body as if you were lying on water floating. Just float and ignore all thoughts. Don't try to cancel them out but don't focus on any one thought. Just let them come and go like passing clouds. Keep focusing on floating and your breath. Picture the water in your mind. Then slowly begin to focus on each part of your body one by one starting with your feet and toes. Feel them relax. Think about your breath as if you are breathing though the body part you are focusing on. Just float. Then move on to your lower legs and do the same. Continue up to your head. Just relax every part of your body. Float. Make sure there is no light in your room. If you need a night light make it a red one.

Good luck.

"It's not how many notes you know. It's what you do with them."

November 22, 2014
12:41 pm
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OwenKorzec
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Great advice by both people.

Definitely don't listen to music before bed just because you feel like it, only listen if you know for sure it helps you sleep. If you are the kind of person where you know music definitely helps you sleep, make a playlist or find an album that's the most consistently calming music you know of and try to fall asleep to that. But if you are anything like me, doing so at night does not help me sleep.

If you absolutely need to listen to music because you have a song stuck in your head that's keeping you from sleep and you need to get rid of that earworm, just pick ONE song that you know will put you in a better mind to sleep on and listen to it a little bit until you feel like that's the new song in your head. Don't just pick a sleepy song because if the one stuck in your head is much higher energy, it will override it and get stuck in your head again. Just pick a song that would feel more satisfying to you.

Exercising, especially earlier in the day, will help you sleep better. It won't lengthen your total hours, it just makes your body do a better job at its necessary job of sleeping. The likely results will include falling asleep more quickly.

Now here's the big one. My favorite trick for falling asleep is taking a shower before bed. So many ways this helps you sleep.
-When you take a hot shower and then dry off and then lay down under the covers, with no long gaps in between, you actually put your body in the perfect conditions to be sleepy. I forget the exact details but the main thing is your overall body temperature will lower, which coincides with what happens naturally when you fall asleep. I can pretty much guarantee this will make you feel very sleepy as long as you don't fight it! A note about this though - if your body does not want to actually sleep, you either still won't get tired from this or you will end up just taking a nap and not carrying the sleep you triggered through the whole night. So it's important to make sure you are tired in the first place.
-Showering is monotonous, encouraging you to do nothing but just think about whatever and let your mind wander. This is the mindset I think is best before bed - to just be calmly thinking about random stuff, rather than panicking that you can't get to sleep.
-If you do it every night right before bed, it can train your brain to create a trigger thought of "since i just showered, i'm going to sleep now, like always" and just that alone, will help command your body to do so. Same goes with any night routine habit actually.

There is a very inexpensive phone app called "Sleep Cycle" that helps you track things like how long you slept, the quality, what portions are deeper than others, etc. etc. etc. I highly recommend it to anyone first of all. But one thing I noticed from this is that after crappy sleep for a few nights (getting up early for school), when I can finally do a full night the sleep quality would show up between 95-100%. If you want to set up that situation for yourself it might help you show your body what it feels like to sleep perfectly, and then whenever you need to do that at will you can try to command to your body with your mind - tell yourself before bed: "dear body, i want to fall asleep quickly, sleep deeply as much as possible, and wake up at [insert time] in a good mood. i know you have done this before so you can do it again, dear body, please do this for me just for tonight" and you'll be surprised how well it does its best to respond to your mental command.

Here's the bottom line for all of this though. You need to actually be tired!

If I lie there in bed, but I feel like I have enough energy to get up and go for a run, that is my reference to me that I am just not ready to sleep now and I will accept that there's nothing I can do about that. That's the state of energy I'd call "wide awake"

If you are so awake that you feel like that, don't even lie in bed, you're wasting your time. Just go ahead and do something active until you feel like you're done for the night and ready to sleep soon, let's call that "winding down", then transfer over to non-active stuff, then sleep. You should have no problem as long as you don't fight what your body truly wants.

I understand many of us including myself have wacky schedules. You can always control when you wake up with an alarm clock, but when you go to sleep is much less reliable, so just remember that. What time you fall asleep will have to feel your body's nature a lot more strongly or else you will just waste your own time trying to make it happen before the body is ready. You can vary it to a degree by mentally and physically commanding techniques like what the three of us have mentioned, but if you feel wide awake, don't even bother. You need to at least approach sleep with the sensation of winding down.

November 22, 2014
3:37 pm
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Col1993
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Thanks for the tips everyone.

From my experience, listening to music in bed/before bedtime and being at the computer hasn't made too much of a difference for me. When I'm tired and feel calm, it takes around 15-30 minutes for me to fall asleep.

The thing is controlling my mind though. I exercise pretty much daily and know where to find distraction when needed, whether it's singing or watching a movie, but even the smallest things can keep me busy (both good and bad things) and makes me think of upcoming scenarios, next thing I know I feel like I'm thinking of a solution of something that could happen in the future. Bah.

November 22, 2014
7:15 pm
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Phil Moufarrege
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you have a lot of energy up high in your head. eat more grounding foods like root vegetables and things grown on the ground...carrots, pumpkin, broccoli and beans are a good soup you can make they will ground you and bring more stability to your mind. potatoes are good but aren't in season right now. eating out of season can unbalance the body a little...foods that can be dried like beans grains nuts and seeds can be eaten in any season. Think of earthy, hearty meals..

deadlifting and squats will really help with grounding. use heavy weight. they will also make you tired too LOL. Try to listen to your body sometimes it may be craving something that you are not giving it...sometimes it is as simple as not having eaten enough food during the day.

As Tommy said, controlling the breath will do a lot for you. unwind with a nice shower like Owen mentioned. Focus on your breath and grounding foods and then just try not to worry so much about not being at the spot you want to be in right now, you will overcome it.

THe fact you are aware of your issues is an excellent excellent thing because we all have issues and most of the time we are unconscious of them. becoming conscious of them is the first step to overcoming them

@PhilMoufarrege
Online Vocal Coach, Singer/Songwriter
Grow-The-Voice.com | PHILMOUFARREGE.com

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