Cultivate slowness and stillness
Why slow down ?
If you want to fall asleep quickly, you're starting on the wrong foot: this desire encourages insomnia and creates counterproductive stress that prevents you from falling asleep. Fear and anxiety generated by the possibility of not being efficient enough, too tired and too slow, will create a lot of insomnia.
Cultivating slowness and stillness helps you work on a fundamental quality needed to fall asleep in peace: patience. It helps you break off from the constant quest for productivity and performance based on speed.
By slowing your movements, unconsciously you abandon the rat race and your fear of failure disappears. You send signals to your brain saying "whatever happens, I don't care" and you are released from performance anxiety.
You can find an entire report on how to slow down in the Psychologies magazine (in French!) [conf lien]. In the mean time, here is some practical advice!
Ideas to slow down
It is preferable to start slowing down 30min before going to sleep. A few examples:
- Walk slowly
- Slow down your movements, for example when you're bathing or when you're brushing your teeth
- Write slowly if you're used to writing
- Sit down without moving or doing anything (with your legs crossed, in the lotus or half-lotus position, or even in an armchair)
Don't hesitate to cultivate slowness at other times during the day: in the street walking slowly, or when you're eating.
Among these slowness exercises, try out this one to slow down your eye movements.
Set yourself into a comfortable position (sitting, lying down, in a mediative position is you can! )
Keep your eyes open
Be aware of your eye movements without changing your usual movements for a minute or two
- Form the intent of stilling your gaze
- Still your gaze (rather downwards, but feel free to choose what is convenient for you)
- For a few minutes, stay still while being conscious of what's happening around you. This will allow you to notice quickly when your gaze has moved involuntarily.
- After 2-3 minutes of stillness, stay conscious of your eye movements and slowly move your gaze to different places in the room
It is important to not force the stillness! You must achieve a fair balance between relaxation and steadfastness. Once again, don't hesitate to practice this exercise at other times during the day!