Have you ever had trouble falling asleep – or waking in the middle of the night and struggled to get back to sleep?
We all know the importance of sleep and what lack of sleep does to our body and mind.
Sleep disturbances are usually due to stress, travel, illness, or other temporary interruptions to normal routine. However, if sleep problems occur regularly and interfere with daily life, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. In which case this technique might not be enough…
Maybe you remember as a kid being told to count sheep if you couldn’t fall asleep.
It appears that for most it is mainly a myth (Myth = widely held but false belief or idea).
I had never heard of the alphabet game, but started a few months ago just doing it – Weird, maybe or maybe not – and just an intuition or some divine intervention?
In this sleeping exercise, I am going to show you how I use the alphabet to think up words to apply to each letter.
Before we get started, there are a couple of things you need to do.
You obviously want to get bed ready, which would mean turning off lights in the room and removing any noise distractions.
Make sure the temperature is optimal – more on sleep hygiene here (tbd)
Lie down in bed and close your eyes.
Here we go:
Choose a subject for the list you’ll be creating (e.g. cars, plants, fruits, vegetables, animals, etc).
For the purposes of this step-by-step, I’ll use “positive adjectives” as a category.
Beginning with the letter A, think up a word that begins with that letter.
In this case, we might begin with “Amazing”.
Now think up 3 or 4 more words beginning with A” that are positive and that you might like to achieve or experience everyday. E.g. awesome, active, accepted etc.
Next choose a word for the next letter B, such as “Beautiful”.
Continue with the remaining letters of the alphabet, thinking up words that begin with each letter until you reach the final letter Z.
If you get to the end of the alphabet and you have still not fallen asleep – well heck, I think we have another issue here. Otherwise simply repeat the process, but choose a different category.
To be totally honest, I don’t think I’ve ever got past F in the alphabet – these are only a few examples of words I would use.
I obviously have NOT learned them by heart, but when doing this “exercise” allow whatever comes up. As long as it is positive – if anything negative comes up – I immediately go back to the word before and try and come up with a positive attribute (or adjective/noun/verb – whatever – you get the gist)
Here are a couple of words that often come up during this *exercise”
A – awesome, ambitious, abundant, authentic
B – bold, brave, beautiful, bright
C – calm, creative, cheerful, curious
D – daring, dedicated, dependable, devoted
E – energetic, efficient, empathic, entertaining
F – fair, free, faithful, flexible
G – generous, genuine, grounded, grateful
H – happy, healthy, harmony, humour
I – independent, imaginative, intuitive, innovative
By creatively thinking up words we are essentially allowing our minds to wander, which will help to induce the sleeping state. And nothing creates a better foundation for a list than the standard alphabet.
The alphabet works so well, because it’s something that the majority of us have learned to a point that it’s become ingrained in our minds from a young age. We are able to use this knowledge as a tool to apply to any list of items or materials. Whether it’s falling asleep or going back to sleep.
The ideas of lists are endless:
Famous people (e.g. celebrities, athletes, artists, musicians) with the same initials e.g. Anne Archer, Boris Becker, Charlie Chaplin, Danny DeVito, Emilio Estevez, Farrah Fawcett, Gloria Gaynor, and so on…
Don’t want to do double initials? Go through the alphabet dog breeds, cereal brands, cities you’ve been to, or spices or herbs.
Counting down backwards (and slowly) from 100 and visualizing each number as you come to it, can also be effective. Maybe also imagining erasing it from blackboard.
I have other interesting “hacks” or daily habits that I will share with you in future articles.
Let me know in the comments if you have any interests that you want covered.