- Mindfulness This practice is all about focusing on the here and now, says Dr Guy Meadows of The Sleep School. 'Gently acknowledge those thoughts, then come back to the present. Feel the pillow on your face, the duvet on your toes, the movement of your breath. By welcoming [the sensations] in, you’re willing to experience them, and there is less struggle. And because there is less struggle, there is more chance of sleepiness.'
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation This combines controlled breathing with the gradual release of tension in the body. Focus your energy on your toes, becoming aware of their presence, and inhale deeply through the nose. Hold the breath for three seconds, gently flexing your toes. Exhale through the mouth, and relax your toes. Repeat. Slowly work up your body, becoming aware of and relaxing through your knees, your hips, your chest etc. You may find you fall asleep before you finish.
- And before you get into bed… A common cause of insomnia is stress: 'I always advise people to de-stress before sleep, and not to use sleep as a de-stresser,' adds Lesley McCall, cognitive hypnotherapist. For this Lesley recommends 'literally scribbling all over a piece of paper, for ten minutes, anything that worries you, everything that’s on your mind.' By ridding your mind of negative thoughts, you may just feel relaxed enough to drift off. Happy snoozing.
Read 5 ways to feel more balanced, every day by Eminé Ali Rushton on LifeLabs