Sleep: A Technique to Try

If I toss and turn at night, Cliff sometimes says, “I can hear your brain working.”

Wow, those must be pretty good ears.

Then he adds, “Just stop thinking and go to sleep.”


Sometimes, it’s big thinking:  This is the first time I’ve  had a recall on a mammogram.  What exactly did the nurse say again?

Sometimes, it’s little thinking:  Should I top the banana pudding with whipped cream or meringue?

Sometimes, it’s grumpy thinking: With a broken furnace and a crown to be drilled, tomorrow is not going to be great day.

Sometimes,it’s happy thinking:  Should I get the old toys down from the attic now or wait until the baby is a little older?


In the middle of the night?

Not easy.  No sir.

In the last few months, I’ve been experimenting with a form of no thinking.

I call it “calm thinking,” for want of a more creative term.

My new rule is I have to think calm, nighttime thoughts.

It seems to be working, some of the time at least.  I mostly focus on gratitude– I’m in a nice bed, pleasant covers, stars are shining in the sky, goodnight moon- that sort of thing.

Give calm thinking  a try. I’d love to know if it works for you!

PS: And it may be that calm thinking is actually working because my wide-awake menopausal hormones have calmed down a bit.

Good news for those of you in the middle of the roller coaster ride. There’s less rattle and clatter at the end.

The photo is a BIG headline from the Durham Herald to get fans thinking about the upcoming Duke and Carolina basketball season. Go Blue Devils!


18 thoughts on “Sleep: A Technique to Try”

  1. I read somewhere that if you wake up during the night and thoughts start coming, to just say over and over in your mind “God is, I am”. Said it works for the author. Another thing I heard recently while watching an Oprah Soul Series show with Echkart Tolle pertains to those thoughts we often role around and often believe and get upset by–We don’t have to believe those thoughts. I never thought about that. We all have constant chatter in our minds. So hard to calm it down. Maybe just picking a calming mantra to think instead of running with what needs to be done tomorrow would work. Barbara, your idea is a good one!


  2. I try hypnotizing/boring myself by repeating “Sleep” over and over. Works occasionally. Sure is frustrating in the middle of the night while the old brain is racing like a runaway train and the rest of the body is screaming “shut up!”. : )


  3. Love your ideas…as always. What amazing, runaway brains we have. Often I wake up at 2AM and have to calm my wide-awake brain (…how much money in the bank, which bills to pay, what about the wars the in the world….it goes on). I can quiet the old brain by breathing calmly and slowly–kind of following my breath into and out of my body. I think someone said this was like yoga breathing. It mostly works. And…an old friend told me not to worry about anything that I couldn’t do something about and there’s not a lot to do at 2AM. Well, maybe read a book, write a book or shop online. Happy Thanksgiving weekend.


  4. I write things down that I have to do the next day before I go to bed; also keep the paper and pencil bedside in case I think of something else. When awake at 2 AM sometimes I visualize a peaceful lake view or focus on breathing; if the insomnia goes on too long I move to another room and read for a while.


  5. I have a hard time clearing my mind when I am moving into Shavasana during yoga. My instructor
    told me to literally say in my head “I breath in, I breath out” over and over…it really does work.
    I have also repeated it while in the dentist chair and when I can’t sleep……..which is often these days. Since I had an injury that kept me out of work and any physical activity for 6 months, I think I am trying to cram more into my days now!. Working one full time and one part time job, yoga 3 times a week, tutoring with the local Literacy Council.. and that doesn’t even touch on what
    is happening during the holidays!! Namaste. breath, quietly, please.


  6. I swear, I can lie still in the bed for 20 minutes straight, not moving a muscle, but my mind going 90 mph and Tom says, “I can feel you radiating energy.” Sometimes I just have to get up and move around in another room for at least 15 minutes. It kick starts my brain in a different direction entirely. Then it is more receptive to being redirected into “calm thinking.”


  7. I do deep breathing and also love my routine of thinking of 3 things that day that I am grateful for. It puts life in perspective for me.


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