Writing your way to a good night’s sleep
Today’s guest post is written by Mari L. McCarthy, author and journaling therapy expert. Don’t forget to check out details below of how you can win a copy of Mari’s latest book Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life – a fabulous workbook for anyone facing a change in their life.
Writing Your Way to a Good Night’s Sleep
Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Insomnia can be caused by stress, medical side-effects, menopause, and other sleep thieves.
Our lives tend to be busy, often from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep. An overloaded brain that continues working hard after you lie down at night will not let you get the rest you need. Instead, your mind keeps churning as you toss and turn. Your thoughts turn to worries, and you start fretting about everything that comes to mind. You worry especially about how horrible you’re going to feel tomorrow after getting no sleep tonight.
Though we may not realize it, our brains need time to decompress from all the thinking we make them do during waking hours.
Whatever the cause of your bedtime wakefulness, you can counter it by keeping a journal.
Changing your habits before bed is the key to better sleep.
For at least an hour before lying down, let your activities be slow and comforting; ones that purposefully let your energy relax. You can take a hot bath, cuddle with your partner or kids, listen to some soothing music. An especially helpful practice is journaling.
Give yourself a few minutes right before bedtime to write in a notebook. You may want to reflect on the events of your day, or explore one thing that happened, or take a tangent somewhere else entirely.
Therapeutic Journaling at the end of the day is a way to clear the mind of thoughts and worries and to frame your day positively. Writing “Night Notes” in your journal will help you process what happened during the day and let it go.
The content of your writing is far less important than the practice itself, which will quickly begin to cure your insomnia.
Here are three suggestions for clearing your mind.
1. Write down anything that is haunting your thoughts. What’s on your mind?
You can’t do much about it now that it’s bedtime, so write it down to get it out of your head and onto the page. Documenting any loose ends allows your brain to relax instead of obsess. Whatever it is, you can deal with it tomorrow.
2. Write down your victories and gratitudes.
What things did you accomplish today, big and small? What are you thankful for today? Write down as many items as you can think of.
Reflecting on what you did accomplish today (rather than what you didn’t), and what blessings you have (rather than those you don’t), will help you contentedly drift off to sleep. Over time, this gratitude practice will get you in the habit of framing the events of your day in a positive manner, no matter what happens.
3. Close your entry with reflection or prayer that expresses any blessings or wishes you have on your mind.
Writing a quick reflection or prayer is a ritual for closing out the day intentionally and letting it go. As you shut your journal, let a sense of closure and peace come over you. As you close your eyes, let your mind go quiet, and let your muscles relax. Know that your day is complete, and your sleep will come easily.
About the author
Mari L. McCarthy The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Journaling for the Health of It™.
Please visit Mari’s blog at http://www.createwritenow.com/journal-writing-blog/.
In 27 Days of Journaling to Health and Happiness , Mari walks you through an easy process for accessing your natural inner strengths.
Mari’s latest publication is titled, Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life. See http://www.createwritenow.com/journaling-therapy-ebook/ for details.
If you would like to win a copy of the author’s latest book Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life then simply leave a comment below telling us how you have benefited or think you might like to benefit from journaling. And if you want to double your chances of winning, leave a comment on the JBBC Facebook page, where the competition is also running.