The 3 -2 -1 Sleep Process
Do you ever struggle to sleep at night because of a ‘busy brain’? Maybe can’t get off because you lie there thinking about the day’s events, or worrying about something that has not yet happened? Or wake up in the night, and can’t get off again, and lie there getting more and more concerned about how you are going to manage the next day?
Sometimes the difficulty sleeping is caused by the environment (too much noise, too light, too hot / cold), other times it might be physiological (too much caffeine). However, very often our mental activity is a major contributor to sleeplessness. Our minds can be busy replaying and thinking about what has happened during the day, or past events, or maybe thinking about tomorrow and future events. Or we might be imagining or replaying conversations, and revisiting feelings of upset or anger, or feeling anxious about the future.
Getting to sleep involves closing down the pictures / sounds / self talk we might be running about past or future events, and bringing our attention to present moment sensations of comfort and relaxation. The 3 – 2 – 1 Sleep Process helps to do just that.
(This is just one example of really helpful self help techniques in our ‘Managing Yourself’ online course, available from 20-80-training.teachable.com)
This process brings your sensory attention into the present moment, and your leads your attention to what you can feel. As you lie in bed with your eyes closed ….
Make 3 ‘See’ statements silently to yourself about what you could see if your eyes were open. (For best effect, make one statement at a time, in a relaxed internal voice. Make each statement on your relaxed out-breath). For example ……
- I can see the curtains covering the window,…..
- I can see the radiator on the wall, …..
- I can see of the lamp by the bed.
Then make 3 ‘Hear’ statements – what you can hear, e.g.
- I can hear the sound of my own breathing ….
- I can hear the sound of a car passing ….
- I can hear the ticking of the clock
Then make 3 ‘Feel’ statements – what you can feel,e.g.
- I can feel of the pillow against my cheek ….
- I can feel the weight of the duvet against my body….
- I can feel the temperature of the air on my face
Then repeat the process, making 2 ‘See’ statements, 2 ‘Hear’ statements, and 2 ‘Feel’ statements (it doesn’t matter whether the statements are repeated from the previous round)
Then repeat the process again making 1 ‘See’ statement, 1 ‘Hear’ statement, and 1 ‘Feel’ statement.
Very often people fall asleep before the end of the process. If not, repeat again, starting from a higher number (eg 5, then 4, then 3, then 2, then 1).