2. Count backward.
The old adage of counting sheep to get to sleep doesn’t come from nowhere. If you are lying in bed and are having trouble falling asleep, begin slowly counting backward from 100. Phillip Mandel, a hypnotherapist in Beaverton, Oregon recommends:
“The trick is this: if you get lost or forget what number you’re on, you need to start over again from 100. Every time you get lost, gently start over. Don’t allow yourself to become frustrated, just be gentle with yourself and start back over from 100. Note that it’s not hypnosis in the usual sense, such as ‘you are getting sleepy’. Rather, you’re just doing something monotonous with your mind that will have the effect of making you sleepy.”
3. Use your imagination.
Guided imagery can be very effective in shifting your focus to allow your body and mind to relax as your imagination leads you through a scenario that mimics your own tense state and releases it.
One image you can use is a small ball of yarn: close your eyes and “see” yourself as the ball of yarn, all wound up. Imagine finding the end of the yarn and detaching it from the ball.
Watch as it slowly unwinds from the ball, curling and gently coming to rest on the floor, the strand becoming longer as the ball rolls and becomes smaller. Follow the yarn to the end, the tension of the ball completely unraveled.
Another technique you can try is Progressive Muscle Relaxation in which you alternately tense and release series of muscle groups throughout your body.