Here’s a little tip for getting to sleep quickly that is working quite well for me and my wife. I learned it from the Life Science course by T. C. Fry, Lesson 15 in an attached article by A.F. Willat entitled How To Put Yourself To Sleep Easily.
I usually have little trouble getting to sleep first thing at night but sometimes can lie awake for ages after being disturbed during the night. Since I started using this technique, my stints of insomnia have almost completely disappeared. It will only work if your body truly needs sleep and I’ve realised that when it doesn’t work, it really is time for me to get up.
Here is A.F. Willat’s technique:
If you have difficulty going to sleep when you feel that you need it, and your brain is so active that you cannot stop thinking and it is keeping you awake, you can overcome the trouble by following in detail a certain routine of thinking positively. The reason you have this problem is because something important is on your mind at the time.
Some persons fall asleep easily because they do not take life so seriously and do not worry about other people and their troubles. They are not so “unselfish” and just accept life as it shows up. So, for those persons who are always concerned about others troubles, the following procedure will put you to sleep very easily.
When you are thoroughly convinced that you really need some sleep, all you have to do is to purposely mix up your thoughts so completely that you won’t know what you were thinking about. It’s that simple, and you need only put your mind on a simple, routine system of thinking which is so easy to follow that it becomes almost automatic to continue it after you have been interrupted by the interjection of unintentional and unrelated thoughts.
Before trying to follow this method, you should put your body in a natural, relaxed position with nothing to disturb your comfort. Lie directly on your back in a straight position and place your arms alongside your body so that the blood can flow freely. Then place your legs in a straight position to get rid of all the possible kinks and bends in all other parts of the body.
Put a pillow under the head, but not under the shoulders. Now, slowly take deep breaths so your lungs fill with air. Then exhale all the way to empty them completely. Inhale again to fill the lungs normally, and then try to inhale a little more after that. Exhale normally, and then try to exhale still more.
Your next step is to imagine walking over to a blackboard with imaginary chalk in your hand and slowly draw a vertical straight line from near the top to the bottom of the board. Do this several times more, as naturally as you can. Now, imagine that your are slowly drawing the figure two (2) extending the full height of the board. Do this a few times in your natural handwriting that you can be proud of. It must be done easily. Next, do the same with the other figures, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
Any other routine system of mixing up your thoughts could be as effective, but this method has been used for a long time and is perfectly satisfactory.
If you do it very slowly, you’ll probably be asleep before you know it, and when you wake up you won’t remember what figure you drew last.
Doing the thinking rapidly will only keep you awake. Using ten seconds or more to draw each figure will stop your thinking, you’ll become drowsy, and then lose consciousness entirely.
Even if you should wake up in the middle of the night, you will be able to put yourself back to sleep more easily than before.
You must never doubt your ability to have this routine plan work. Don’t think about it. Just do it, and know that if you follow the directions correctly it will put you to sleep every time.