Here’s how to get the best sleep of your life!
If you struggle with insomnia, or even fall asleep easily enough most nights but then awaken at 2:00, 3:00, or 4:00 a.m., and can’t get back to sleep, then you know how frustrating it can be — especially if you’ve got something important to do the next day.
Fortunately, there is a solution. But to reach it, you need to grasp the nature of the problem, and learn how to use the Law of Attraction to help you sleep better.
Recall the last couple of times when you woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep, and see if you can pinpoint what your mind was focused on.
- Maybe you were so excited about the next day that you couldn’t stop thinking about everything to come.
- You may have been feeling anxious about the following day’s events, and running through a mental checklist of all you need to do.
- It could be that an argument with your spouse or a contentious situation at work was occupying your mind.
- It’s entirely likely that the fact that you’re still awake was all you could think about!
There is a common denominator in each of these scenarios, and that common denominator can best be understood as the momentum of thought.
Your mind is a focusing mechanism. This is great news, because, in your waking state, focusing your mind allows you to concentrate solely on the task at hand, and to see something through to completion.
In its focused state, your mind literally filters out any noises, distractions, issues — even emotions — that are unrelated to the outcome you’re trying to achieve.
When the focusing part of your mind is engaged, your brain is in what neuroscientists have termed the “beta” brainwave state.
In the beta brainwave state, your mind id actively processing information, both from your external surroundings and from your own thoughts and emotions.
Logic and critical thinking are the by-products of being in a beta brainwave state, and as a result of the intensity of your focus, you’re in a heightened state of alertness.
Beta brainwave activity is important; it guides you in performing the day-to-day activities that are necessary to lead a high-functioning life. However, higher cycles of beta frequency in our brainwave activity also produce stress, irritability, and restlessness.
In other words, the beta brainwave state is the mortal enemy of falling to sleep!
In a less focused state, known as the “alpha state,” your brain isn’t fixated on one particular object or issue. Rather, your attention is more diffuse in nature. In the alpha state, you operate on a type of auto-pilot.
It’s a state of partial conscious awareness in which you lose track of what’s happening and can more easily drift into a deeper state of relaxation. Learning how to allow yourself to fall into an alpha brainwave state is one extremely important component to being able to fall back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night.
Another state, the “theta state,” is a phase of unfocused thought wherein the conscious mind is completely disengaged and you enter a deep state of relaxation. You may be lightly aware of your surroundings, but only as an observer, not a participant.
If you’ve ever experienced the floating sensation of being half-awake, you know exactly what it feels like to be in this brainwave state.
The delta state — which is the state you achieve when you’re having a good night’s sleep — is characterized by a complete disconnection from the activities of the conscious mind. In this state, you’re replenished and renewed, in mind and body.
So, what do these four distinct brainwave states have to do with the momentum of thought? In a word: Everything!
Each of these progressively relaxed states of being — from the hyper-awareness of the beta state to the deep, dreamless unconsciousness of the delta state — are nothing more than a reflection of your momentum of thought.
In beta state, because your focus is acute, your brainwaves move at a very high rate of speed. In alpha state, this momentum slows down as you allow your attention to become more diffuse and less specific.
In the theta state, brainwave momentum is slower still. And in delta, the momentum of your thoughts moves at such a slow rate of speed that you have no awareness of them at all.
So, the secret to falling back to sleep after you’ve woken up at night is to learn how to deliberately slow the momentum of your own thoughts.
And this is where an understanding of the Law of Attraction must come in.
The Law of Attraction is the universal principle which states that similar energies, or frequencies, are drawn together because of their harmony to one another. And, in their coming together, they add to one another, and their harmonic frequency grows stronger.
If you were to look at a frame-by-frame unfolding of a downward spiral of negative thinking, you’d discover that it didn’t come out of the blue. In fact, it’s very rare to go from a moment of sustained satisfaction and ease to a moment of rage.
Momentum is at the root of everything you experience, whether you’re talking about an unpleasant downward spiral or the exhilaration you feel when you’re “on a roll.”
Both scenarios are set into motion with one single thought. The original thought triggers the next, and each one gathers speed. If you allow it to persist long enough, the momentum of your thoughts can begin to feel out of control.
This explains why, on the day you’re stewing about the argument you had with your boss, you’re more likely to stub your toe on the way out the door or encounter inconsiderate drivers on your drive to work. The Law of Attraction simply brings people, experiences, and circumstances that match the vibration you’re sending out.
And it all starts with the momentum of your thoughts.
Because of momentum, the more often you think a particular thought — such as, “Why can’t I fall asleep?” — the more likely you are to continue thinking those thoughts.
And, not only will you continue to think them, but, because each of those thoughts gathers momentum, they’ll escalate over time.
So, “I can’t get back to sleep,” may escalate into, “Why does this always happen to me?” Or, “Maybe there’s something wrong with me.” Or, “How am I ever going to get through tomorrow?”
One thought leads to the next, like a train gathering speed. Now, instead of the deep, restful delta state you’re longing for, you’re “stuck” in the rapid-fire activity of the beta state.
Here are 3 steps for slowing down the train of unwanted thoughts, so you can get the delicious night’s sleep you desire and deserve:
1. Shut out distractions to your focus before bed.
In the hour or two before going to bed, disengage from activities that require a lot of thought or mental focus. Instead, choose activities that relax you, in order to allow your mind to unwind and to drift into more of an alpha state.
If you read or watch TV in bed, make sure it’s something that puts you at ease. Ambient noises, such as the hum of a fan or the trickling of water, provide a distraction for your conscious mind, making it easier to drift into an alpha state.
There are apps you can download that provide ambient sounds, too. Experiment with a couple of forms of white noise, knowing that eventually, you’ll find one that makes it easier to drift off to sleep.
2. Don’t distract yourself with thoughts when you wake up.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, do your very best to keep your mind unfocused and in the neutrality of the alpha state.
Rather than placing your focus on thoughts (such as “How many hours do I have before my alarm goes off?”) focus instead on anything that feels good to you: The comfort of your bed; the softness of your pillow; the feel of the sheets against your skin.
If you find your mind becoming engaged (and, it likely will), redirect any negative momentum before it gets started by thinking about people, places, memories, or upcoming events that easily bring you comfort.
Your mind cannot move in two directions at the same time. So, if you find the wheels of your mental train starting to turn, know that you do at least have some control over its direction.
If and when you start thinking about that difficult project you have to get to tomorrow, or the relationship troubles you’ve been having lately, gently say to yourself things like, “I can think about this later. Now is not the time. There is really nothing that can be done about that right now. By allowing myself to rest and relax, I’ll be better equipped to handle whatever comes my way when the time comes.”
If the thought that comes to you is truly important, keep a pad of paper and pen by your bedside so you can write it down before you send it packing.
3. Increase your positive self-talk and shut out negativity.
If, after trying all of the above, you find become frustrated because you’ve not yet fallen back to sleep, make a commitment to use that time to nourish yourself through positive self-talk and a generous application of self-love.
Say things to yourself such as, “I’m doing the best I can. I’ve had issues in the past that have worked themselves out. For every problem, there is a solution. There are so many things in my life that are working well, and for which I am truly grateful.”
The mindset of gratitude and appreciation creates an internal atmosphere that is remarkably conducive to sleep. The truth is, in every moment — and precisely because you have the ability to focus and defocus your mind — you can choose to put attention on all that isn’t working, or you can use that same power of focus to take a mental inventory of all that is.
There is no one precise formula for generating a mindset of appreciation. Some can find it just by thinking of a beloved pet. Others recall experiences in nature that were especially uplifting.
Just create the intention of gratitude in your heart, see where your mind takes you, and notice how you feel. What you’re going for is a feeling of relief. Relief will slow the gears of your mental machine, and gradually, you’ll slip into deeper and more relaxed states of consciousness.
Learning to defocus your mind is a gradual process. But knowing that you have the ability to do so gives you a definite head start. Like everything, it will get easier with practice. Be patient with yourself.