Need better, more restful sleep? Try a “bedtime story”!
Remember when you were a child and you asked for a bedtime story? Maybe it had more to do with you wanting to delay the time before going to bed? Maybe it had to do with the fact that you were scared of the dark and you wanted some comfort that all was okay? Or, maybe those bedtime stories helped you fall asleep easier and deeper?
Fast forward many years and now you are an adult. Sleep time may not be such a great time for you now. Maybe you now fight a racing mind from either thinking of the previous days activities or from thinking of the next day’s activities? Maybe you can’t shut off your mind and you have no idea why it just won’t shut off? Maybe you have no trouble getting to sleep, yet struggle with your mind waking you up in the middle of the night, keeping you up until that dreaded time when your alarm goes off? Why in the world would our minds do this to us!!!??? Surely it knows that getting good, restful, healing sleep is super important for our health and sanity?? Surely our minds know that sleep time means that it’s time to SLEEP!!??
Well, whether you happen to be one of those that has issues with getting your mind to “shut off” so you can fall asleep or stay asleep, or if you happen to be someone who lives with someone that struggles with sleep issues, it very important to understand an interesting fact about our minds. Our minds do know that sleep time is the best time to get rest, the time to heal, the time to reboot so we can function at our top potential. Our minds also know that sleep time is usually the time that we actually stop doing stuff. Since our minds know that sleep time is our downtime, our minds will use this time as a way to finish anything that doesn’t feel finished. Since most of us tend to GO, GO, GO all day long, never really stopping to even take a breath (more about that another time), our minds know that sleep time is most likely the time it will get to get us to finish the unfinished.
What does this mean that the mind wants to finish the unfinished? Our minds keep all of our experiences as files/data that it stores deep in the network of nerves of the brain so that it can access that experience again in the future if needs be. The mind can’t file away any of our experiences until it feels the experience is complete and resolved. Many times we have immediate resolution of our experiences, so those experiences get filed away and closed up, like being put away into a filing cabinet. Unfortunately, we all have those experiences that, according to our mind, are not considered resolved. Those unresolved experiences need to be resolved and filed away for the brain to feel at ease and to feel like it can “relax” and help you do other important things, like sleep:)
So if you find that you have lived with a pattern of not being able to shut off your mind so that you can sleep, what is actually going on is that your mind is wanting to resolve and finish business before resting. Your mind just wants some resolution or some sense of resolution. Use this simple technique to help your mind get some sense that resolution if here or on the horizon. I like to call it your bedtime story. Using a bedtime story allows your brain to finish the unfinished and close up those files it so much wants to complete. Here is the method:
Step 1: First think about this one question, “What kind of person do I want to more of?” Do you want to be the kind, patient parent? Do you want to be the calm, collective friend? Do you want to be the business person that is making a difference in your community? Write down all the attributes of the type of person you would like to be more of in your life. Don’t hold back because it feels selfish or impossible to achieve, just write it down.
Step 2: Now that you have a list of the attributes of the type of person you would like to be more of, take that list and make a short story (maybe a paragraph or so) of how you are that type of person. An example would be like this: I am a strong protector of my family! It’s so fun to be a protector and provider for my family and to see the smiles and joy on their faces because of the life I am able to provide for them…. Continue to build this story until you have added the attributes into that story.
Step 3: You should have a short paragraph story that takes about 2-3 minutes to read (out loud or in your mind). Read this paragraph right before you go to bed. This short bedtime story will give your brain some closure with many of the stressors you may have gone through in your day and will help your brain see that there is a plan of action for creating resolution in your life. This story will also give your brain an opportunity to feel okay with actually finishing some unfinished business so it can now focus on other business, like helping you sleep!
Step 4: If you happen to have a significant other that is willing, have him/her whisper this story into your ear right before you go to sleep. This is just another way to get your brain to see that you aren’t the only one working on finishing business. Your brain will see this other voice as evidence that there are other people out there willing to help you finish the unfinished.
Read through this training multiple times to really get a grip of how to build your story and how to use this bedtime story in the right way. If you feel like you could use some extra help in creating your bedtime story, let my team and I help you out by giving you a free 60 minute clarity call. On this call, my team will help you see how you can take this information and apply it for you and your individual situation. If it so happens that during your call you feel that you could use our help in other areas of your life, then we can talk about that too. Book your call right here: www.mypowercompass.com/apply
Here’s to better sleep, closed up files, and happy bedtime stories!!
Your friend and mentor,
Dr. Joe Kepo’o