I come across many people who have problems sleeping, either getting to sleep or staying asleep. For some it’s an over active mind at bedtime, for others it is pain, anxiety or in some cases the belief that they can no longer have a good nights sleep. Some struggle to get off to sleep while others wake in the night and can’t get back to sleep.
Whatever the reason for your lack of sleep there is a good technique I know which I wanted to share. It gives you something to focus on which is inconsistent with thinking, planning, or feeling anxious, etc. and is known as the 3-2-1 technique.
The goal of the 3-2-1 technique is to give you something interesting to focus your attention on and experience as your mind slows down. It is really simple and works like this:
First, just listen for three things and count them. Any three things that you hear: maybe the sound of your breathing – “one”; or maybe a sound of the heating cooling down— “two”; or maybe the sound of your skin against the sheet — “three”. These are just examples and you can use any three things you hear. They can even be the same thing. Just listen for, hear, and then count three things. It’s that simple.
Next, feel three things. Any three things. The feeling of the sheet against the skin — “one”; An interesting tingling sensation in the limbs— “two”; Cool or maybe warm air on the face — “three”; It does not matter what they are. Any three things will do. They can be different or the same. Just feel them and count them,1,2,3.
And then, see three things in your minds eye. Just let them appear, on their own. A rose — “one”; A blue sky— “two”; maybe a beach — “three”; Now after you have seen the third thing, go back and repeat the process but do it for two thing, so hear two things, and count them in the mind. Then feel two things. Then see two things. Then repeat for one thing, hear one thing, feel one thing, and see one thing.
If you’re still awake start again. You will lose count as your mind is experiencing what it hears, feels, and sees and begins to drift to sleep. So hear, feel and see three things, then two things, then one thing and then go back to three until you drift into or back into a peaceful sleep.
Sleep well 🙂
Other Relevant Blogs:
Healing Body and Spirit Together – I love Meghan’s attitude to sleep.
Rob Wolf’s Blog – has an excellent post by Kevin Cann regarding the dangers of sleep deprivation.