Insomnia is a painful condition that knocks you out of shape. And if it continues for several days in a row, and in addition is reinforced by the mistakes that are made after a sleepless night, then even young guys and girls feel like ancient old men, not capable of anything. There are many ways on the Internet that guarantee a quick fall asleep and deep sleep, but most often they either do not work or require complicated practices.
Some recommend counting sheep the old-fashioned way, others recommend taking sleeping pills, and still, others recommend exhausting yourself with training so that as soon as you touch the bed you immediately pass out. But today we want to tell you about a slightly strange but effective method of falling asleep that few people have heard of: cognitive agitation. The technique was developed by Luke Beaudoin, a cognitive scientist at Simon Fraser University. First about what the technique is, and then about a few steps to help you sleep like a baby.
How it works
Luke Beaudoin tells us that the adult mind is focused on using language and thinking. Babies, on the other hand, lacking these skills, spend most of their time playing and imagining. This is not to say that adults are completely devoid of these qualities; they too play and fantasize. But, as a rule, it is a passive quality, practically not manifested in normal situations. Researchers have found that when falling asleep people most often see visual images, something similar to dreams. These images help people fall asleep more quickly. Conversely, using analytical thinking can lead to insomnia. The closest example is counting sheep. In this case, the brain analyzes the situation being presented and tenses up, which brings it into a waking state. Simply put, in order to fall asleep quickly, you must turn off logical thinking and give your mind entirely to your imagination. And imagination doesn’t have to be concrete so that the images arise at random and don’t strain the brain. This is how the cognitive mixing technique works.
4 steps for falling asleep quickly
- Get into bed and get ready for bed. A couple of hours before, put away your phone, turn off your computer, and other technology that makes your brain work harder and interferes with the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
- Think of any neutral word that will not cause you an emotional outburst, that is, will not be an anchor for vivid memories. The word should consist of several letters, for example, smartphone, light bulb, shirt.
- Say the word slowly and clearly in your mind, and then take the first letter of that word and think of a new one beginning with the same letter. For example, the word “smartphone.” Imagine that device, see its screen, its keys, it’s casing. Then think of a new “s” word, like an airplane. Visualize the image again and move on to the next word with the same letter. Linger on each image presented so that it is not an abstract image, but a clear picture.
- If the first letter doesn’t take effect after a few words, or if you find it harder to come up with words and images for that letter, move on to the next letter in your chosen word. In this example, that letter would be “m.”
The main thing is to choose simple words that you can visualize without straining your memory or imagination. If a complicated word comes to mind, immediately discard it so as not to provoke vigor. If you don’t want to think of several different words, you can elaborate on one, imagining different images. For example, if we are talking about an airplane, you can start with a typical image of a civilian airliner, then imagine a World War II fighter, then draw a modern supersonic bomber in your mind, and so on.
Keep in mind that this technique may not work if you are too tired to visualize images, for example, after a difficult mental activity, or when waking up in the middle of the night. Also, the technique may have the opposite effect if you come across several words that are difficult to visualize in a row.
So try to choose the simplest words and the most easily visualized images. If you do it right, you won’t notice how the images of objects will seamlessly transition into dreams. Try this technique and tell us what you get. What images in your case helped you fall asleep the fastest, and what, on the contrary, prevented you from falling asleep.
And in general, will this technique work for any person, or do you need to have a way of thinking where the creative, rather than logical, part of the mind dominates. You can also try to combine this technique with natural remedies for insomnia. Of course, after consulting a doctor, because insomnia is a dangerous condition that can be caused by illness. Ignoring and trying to cure it without finding the cause can lead to worse health.
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