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How to Get Better Sleep with a Simple Visualisation Trick

If you can dream it, you can achieve it - Zig Ziglar

There’s nothing as wonderful as a good nights rest, yet many people struggle to either get to sleep or stay asleep. The traditional advice is to get up and do something boring until you feel sleepy. Fortunately you can discover how to get better sleep with a simple visualisation technique you can start putting into practice tonight.

The blackboard technique

If you find you are having trouble dropping off, or wake up in the night and have difficulty settling back down, all you need to do is imagine a very large blackboard. The blackboard is as big as you are. You have a chalk and a blackboard eraser.

Your task in your imagination is to chalk the number 100 on the blackboard as large as you can. You then have the job of wiping away the number with the eraser. Do this as slowly as you can, making sure that all of the chalk is removed from the blackboard.

Your next task is to chalk the number 99 onto the blackboard which you must then also erase. This task continues without interruption until you fall asleep or reach zero when the task begins again.

This insomnia busting technique improves over time until, in the end, you may find you only reach 97 or 96 before falling into a deep and peaceful sleep.

So why does this technique work?

Thoughts and worries catch the attention of the mind and keep it active. When the mind becomes focused on a repetitive action, it becomes bored, loses interest and settles back down. It’s impossible to think two thoughts at once so the repeating numbers and images effectively crowd out any other disruptive thoughts.

Behind your closed eyelids your eyes will follow the chalk on the imaginary blackboard mimicking the rapid eye movement observed in dreamers. The brain is a quick learner: if you repeatedly use the blackboard technique, the response will become quicker and stronger as a new neural pathway is established.

Sleep is a conditioned response. It is easy to become anxious and interrupt the process of letting go. Going to sleep is not something you actively do. It is something which happens all by itself. So reclaim your right to a good nights sleep and train your brain to let go of the day.

Has this technique worked for you, or do you do something else to help you drop off? Let us know in the comment below…

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.