Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Part of overcoming insomnia is making sure you take care of yourself during the day. When I say this, I don’t mean rushing to accomplish things just because it’s “good” for you. The help to fall asleep at night starts during the day. I want you to allow space to truly enjoy yourself.
By doing so, you not only savour your present moment but it also helps to ground you before anxiety or negative feelings can take hold. This sets the stage for easier relaxation later on at bedtime. Here are just a few suggestions.
Get Moving to Help Yourself Fall Asleep
Wow! Another website on the internet, and the second time alone on this one telling you if you want sleep better at night you should move your body.
I know, I know…
Look, we all know that moving our bodies helps literally everything. It helps our sleep patterns, muscles, brain function, blood flow, mood, and more1. Again, this doesn’t mean you have to deadlift your max weight or do a crazy HIIT workout. Go for a walk around the block. Take your bike out for a leisurely spin. Do some light stretching. Tend to your garden. Walk to the store and get your favourite ice cream and savour the hell out of that ice cream (Bonus – you end up with ice cream). Anything to get you moving will help your mental state.
Light Some Candles (or turn on low lighting)
I don’t know about you, but there’s something calming about fire and/or low lighting. Just the gentle glow puts me in a different state of mind that makes it so much easier to relax. Light a candle, turn on some fairy lights, or dim some warm lighting that you have. Do this while you are showering or bathing, practicing mindfulness, reading, listening to music, or doing anything else.
Engage In a Hobby
To me, a hobby is something you just do. There is no end goal, there’s no aim for it to turn into a profitable side hustle, there’s no stress. You just do it for the sake of enjoyment. You know when you’ve found a hobby that ‘hits the spot’ when you are in a state of flow. Flow is this perfect conjecture between your physical, mental, and emotional well being. It’s something that merges your sense of self with your actions, where you feel at ease and in control, and you get lost in time2.
If you don’t have a hobby, here’s a gigantic list of ones you can try.
Listen to Music for Help to Fall Asleep
When you listen to your favourite music, really listen to the music. As in, don’t do anything other than listen to the music. No driving, no exercising, no working. In other words, it should not be background music while you do something else – just sit there, and listen.
There’s something a lot more enjoyable and tangible when your only goal is to listen to and savour music. You hear nuances that maybe wouldn’t have otherwise. You truly engage with it, and feel it. Maybe you even feel body sensations, like muscle relaxation and slowed breathing.
When was the last time you walked to a new area in the place that you live? I bet there are plenty of sights to see and things to explore in your vicinity. If you’re in a big city, go check out the area you’ve always wanted to see. If you’re in a mid-sized city, walk through neighbourhoods or head to a park area you’ve never seen before. In a small town? Go to a shop you’ve never set foot in, or drive down a rural road.
The change in scenery can bring a renewed sense of adventure and excitement, or at the very least, get you out of the house doing something new.
Talk to Someone
Pick up the phone and call someone. Video chat with a friend. Or text someone you haven’t in a while. Go old school and email an extended family member to let them know you are thinking of them. If you can, avoid online forms or social media (unless it’s a private message). The personal connection keeps us happier and healthier, and even creates a longer life expectancy3.
Read to Help Yourself Fall Asleep
From fantasy novels to steamy romance and murder-mysteries, and non-fiction books about your ancestry, ancient history, or psychology, there’s no shortage of books that will pique your interest. Pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read, but maybe haven’t had the chance to. Let yourself get lost in a book, and transport yourself to a different mental space.
So very few people probably truly love cleaning. But! Once it’s done, doesn’t it feel good? Take a few hours and organize your closet. Wipe the cupboard doors and feel the satisfaction of clearing built-up grease. Scrub your toilet until it’s sparkling. If it’s nice outside and you have a yard or balcony, go do some maintenance. It doesn’t have to be some mad rush of a to-do list, just a nice feeling of relaxation that comes from things looking new again or objects being placed “back in their home”, like Marie Kondo popularised.
Create a ritual to Help Yourself Fall Asleep
Creating a ritual is about regularly doing something meaningful to you, and it can be anything you want it to be. For example, have tea at a certain time and flip through the pages of a magazine. Shower and use your favourite products. Doing some morning stretches. Whatever resonates with you and feels like it’s an expression of your being is a good ritual.
Enjoy Good Food
When you enjoy good food, it’s like it feeds more than just your stomach – it engages your senses. It not only tastes good, but looks pleasant and smells great. It creates an overall atmosphere of savouring and a sense of presence and appreciation for the food that sits before you. Enjoy it by yourself or in the company of those you love.
Even be mindful of the dishware you use. Maybe get some nicer dinnerware that makes ya feel all fancy.
📍 Quest #2 for Daytime Relaxation to Fall Asleep Easily at Night
Let’s go on a thought journey.
Imagine your ideal day
How you would wake up, where you’d be
What your morning routine would be
The kinds of activities you would do during the day
Who you would spend time with
The food you would eat
How you’d spend your evenings.
Really stop and think here.
Close your eyes and envision yourself going through your day.
Ok got it?
Pick a daytime relaxation activity to do this week to get you closer to that ideal day, either one from the list above or something else you thought of. Try doing that every day this week, or do something new every day that helps you relax. Do whatever works to help you enjoy each day just a little bit more.