In a recent issue of Esquire I stumbled upon a section dedicated to sleep trivia. It was a collection of cool little facts about sleep, tips on how to get to sleep (i.e. when you toss and turn all night or if you're on a plane) and why we need it. The article came to my attention with perfect timing since I was on a plane where I rarely get decent sleep.
Within that special section I was given what is quite possibly the most valuable sleeping advice I have ever received. I was skeptical at first when I read about a guaranteed method of falling asleep so I had to see for myself. I have to say that after trying it myself on several occasions it has yet to fail me. I am confident this strategy will be as useful to you as it has been to me if executed properly. I encourage you to try this....
Before completing these seemingly arbitrary tasks you should note that a major reason it can be hard to fall asleep is because when we lay down and are left alone with our thoughts, we tend to think mostly about stressful issues. Even if your life in general may not necessarily be stressful you can still think of things, people or situations that evoke anxiety and make it difficult to doze off.
A great way to keep your mind off those type of thoughts is to do the following
1. Focus on a color- think of a color, any color and visualize it. concentrate (e.g. yellow)
2. Begin to list (in your mind) as many objects as you can that are that color. These can be anything at all. So for yellow I would think of Lakers jerseys, my pair of Iversons in 6th grade, the van in Little Miss Sunshine, The McDonalds arches etc.
3. Once you feel you have listed for a long time, then begin to think of categories and then name every thing in that category that is the color you have chosen. Ex. Food- yellow bell peppers, mangoes, mustard, butter. When you can't think of any more think of a new category like animals, articles of clothings, cars,
4. If you can make it this far (I never have) then you have to start thinking of phrases or names that contain the color you are thinking. Ex. Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Yellow Fever, etc.
The last stage is very difficult and I have on all occasions fallen asleep in the middle of stage 2. But I challenge you to try this trick and enjoy the benefit of never having trouble getting to bed.