Counting Blessings Not Sheep: 7 Easy Steps to Falling Asleep Faster

Ever have difficulty falling asleep?

Thoughts whirling around or your body holding on to tension?  Both?  The usual advice doesn’t work — going to sleep later and getting up earlier, exercising more, avoiding large meals later in the day, cutting out caffeine, having a warm glass of milk.  Even counting sheep doesn’t help.  (Did it ever?)

Quality sleep is important

We all know that sleep is important to our health and well-being.  While our habits and lifestyle play a role, we can also learn exercises to enjoy better quality sleep.  One of my favorites is counting your blessings.  Here is a quick and dirty how-to list to get you going when you’re trying to fall asleep:

Count your blessings

  1. Get comfortable.  Lie flat on your back or try your favorite sleeping position.
  2. Smile.  Even if it hurts.
  3. Identify one good thing that happened in the day.  Anything, however small.
  4. Nothing?  Keep trying.
  5. If you’re still coming up empty, is it safe to say you lived through the day?  Good.  Count more blessings, if possible.  If not, stop at being alive.
  6. Breathe in and exhale, focusing on this blessing(s).
  7. Repeat, slower each time, until you feel more relaxed in mind and body.

Sweet dreams!

Let me know how this works for you, if you decide to try it.  Do you have other techniques?

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19 thoughts on “Counting Blessings Not Sheep: 7 Easy Steps to Falling Asleep Faster

    1. Thanks, Geoff! I had to look this up. Here is the song written by Irving Berlin and featured in the 1954 movie “White Christmas” starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney.
      My new favorite quote: “Let me tell you, it’s kind of dangerous, those knights up on white horses”.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Very helpful Ms Danica, you forgot the one where you sit in your favorite chair and read an ebook until unconscious. When you wake up at 1:30 am …. congrats you were successful now go to bed. Love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, G! That’s probably the most effective one, isn’t it?
      A 2009 study by neurologists at University of Essex found that reading a book reduced stress levels by 68% and it only took six minutes to slow heart rates and reduce tension in muscles.
      They also found that listening to music reduced stress levels by 61%, having a cup of tea or coffee lowered them by 54% and taking a walk by 42%.
      They could have simply asked you. 🙂
      I often have a hard time putting books down and reading has been known to reduce my sleeping time. Less sleep but reduced stress levels is maybe a good compromise?

      A 2009 story in The Telegraph on these research findings: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/5070874/Reading-can-help-reduce-stress.html

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I suffered from sleep apnoea for many years and now I have a machine that pumps air into a mask for me. That has worked for me. Of course, some have found that smoking weed before bedtime helps as well. Have I tried it? I’ll never tell.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hope life is sunshine and roses, I can’t forget Hank because I know he’s reading or will later. Hank I think you’re a bit of a pain and very pushing with Danica. Think of it like this….if you with the big wild yonder, you wouldn’t make it 30 minutes and you can’t take your blankie! I’ve had that on my mind, I feel better now.
        Have a blessed Sunday.:)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. kevin

    I have to keep a fan on. The constant low humming helps with my tinnitus and is kinda soothing. Brian Eno’s Music For Airports is highly recommended. Sometimes I rely on Big Pharma. I am not a good sleeper, unfortunately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, a fan can help especially in noisy environments. Have you tried meditation? It takes some practice but has good results. Melatonin can help and I’ve heard 5-HTP works although becomes less effective over time, so intermittently might be the way to go. TV and computer use shortly before bed apparently have adverse effects. Brian Eno’s Music For Airports sounds like a good idea.
      Hank is an expert sleeper and he recommends as many blankets as possible.

      Like

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