It’s common for people who’ve had difficulties with sleep to feel stressed about going out at night, due to fear of not being able to sleep later on. I’ve helped many people to sleep well after night-time outings with these simple guidelines:
1. Once you’ve made the choice to go out, accept your choice 100%
This will enable you to stay present during the night and enjoy yourself, rather than being distracted by thoughts about not being able to sleep and the fear caused by these thoughts. When you feel fearful, stress hormones are produced in your body, which will negatively impact your outing and make it difficult to fall asleep later on.
2. On your way home, anticipate sleeping well
Focus on thoughts that help you feel calm and relaxed (rather than worrying about not being able to sleep). Imagine arriving home, winding down and getting to sleep with ease. Tell yourself: I will wind down and sleep well tonight. I’m happy I’ve been out and I’m going to feel great tomorrow.
Then let your breathing be slow and deep and let the out-breath be a little longer than usual. When you breathe in this way and think calming thoughts, you initiate the relaxation response, which floods your body with soothing hormones that help you unwind and sleep well.
3. Wind down before going to bed
Many people make the mistake of going directly to bed once they’re home, and then find it difficult to fall asleep. Have at least 15-minutes of quiet wind-down time before you go to bed—no matter how late it is. Follow these tips to get to sleep with ease:
- Keep lights as low as possible.
- Prepare for bed and then elevate your legs for ten to fifteen minutes while listening to the audio track “My body knows how to sleep.”
- If you’ve consumed alcohol, drink two glasses of room temperature water. If you do this, you may need to go to the toilet during the night, but it will prevent you from waking up dehydrated, which takes much longer to address than emptying your bladder. You’ll also feel much brighter the following day.
- If your digestion is disturbed, or you want to help your nervous system calm down, have some calming digestive tea. The most simple version of this two teabags (camomile and or peppermint) steeped for at least ten minutes. Use a teapot or put a saucer on top of a teacup so it steeps properly. Organic tea is more effective, as standard ones usually have harmful fillers. Start brewing your tea as soon as you walk in the door—or leave it brewing before you go out, then heat it when you get home. The longer it steeps, the greater it’s therapeutic effect.
- Once you’re in bed, tell yourself you can sleep well and use your relaxation skills to calm yourself into deep rest. Listen to the audio track “Falling asleep with ease” for support until you’re familiar with the techniques.
I recommend that you avoid late or stimulating nights during this program so you can recover from lack of sleep and establish a consistent sleeping pattern. If late nights are unavoidable, these guidelines will support you to sleep well.