Sleep is initiated and controlled by the deepest, oldest, most primal parts of your brain. When you're tossing and turning and your mind won't slow down - it's because you are unable to consciously control this part of the brain. Even more frustrating, trying harder just activates your 'excitatory' circuits and keeps you awake.
The fact is, it is nearly impossible to control your mind with your mind. It is much easier to control your mind with your body and through changing your environment. Instead of telling your mind to go to sleep, you have to shift its state in other ways - you have to trick it.
These are my top 4 unconventional ways to trick your mind into letting go, so you can achieve great sleep and recovery, wake up feeling awesome and get the most out of your training.
1. Focus on something that isn't you or your life.
I know, you're awesome. And it's hard to allocate bandwidth to thinking about anything else, but in the name of great sleeps and glorious mornings, why not give it a shot? Alternative things to occupy your mind might include an old fashioned page-turner (aka a book), an audio book (I love Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and The Hobbit on Audible – each of the narrators have deep soothing voices), a 'sleep story', or a guided meditation. I don't advise a TV show, movie, or book on an e-reader in bed because the light can keep you awake.
2. Sex. With yourself or someone else. Whatever is most convenient and consensual.
[Disclaimer: This trick may be less helpful if the source of yourself consciousness or worry are sex related. But if not, it's worth a try!]
Remember that the more primal parts of your brain are responsible for sleep initiation - getting out of your head and into your body can be really helpful for (eventually) drifting off.
3. Make an appointment with yourself to worry about things later.
This might sound a bit cheesy, however, our brains are surprisingly responsive to acknowledgement and suggestion. If you're ruminating over a problem or challenge that is important to you, acknowledging that it is important is a big first step towards letting it go for the moment.
Instead of sitting in the dark trying to will yourself to 'not think' or 'think about something else' try telling yourself, "I know this is important. So, I want to come back to it when I'm well rested." Then pick a time to do so. If the thoughts start creeping back in, remind yourself that you will do a full review the following day. This has a similar effect to journaling - but it takes less time because you don't have to hash out the whole thing while you're trying to fall asleep.
4. Use supplements to get your brain & body into the right state for sleeping.
You use coffee to wake up, preworkout to get amped for your big lifts, and alcohol to feel more social. You can also take things to get your brain chemistry in the right state for sleeping.
We're not talking about sedatives here. Sedatives shut down everything - including the important electrical signals and brain waves that help you to properly recharge and repair for the next day. What you want are supps that also support really great quality sleep so that you wake up feeling amazing.
Our PM Recovery collagen was designed to do just that. With ingredients like:
- L-theanine that has been shown to help increase the zen waves in your brain and turn down the parts of your brain that cause worry and ruminating thoughts.
- Magnesium which helps to relax your nervous system and muscles.
- GABA which is the key ingredient for transporting you across the threshold from being awake to being asleep.
It's a game changer for helping you get the best rest and recovery every night.
I hope you try these out! We love hearing great sleep stories, so send us an email or let us know how it goes for you!
- Dr J
The whole idea behind Thirdzy is that you can get more out of the sleep that you’re getting.
You shouldn’t have to sleep 12 hours a night to keep up with your training and life demands.
You should be able to get more quality out of the hours that you spend in bed so that you can wake up feeling your best. That’s why I created PM Recovery Collagen – to help fitness athletes support the quality of their most critical repair and recovery time – sleep.
While other companies sell products aimed at knocking you out, Thirdzy is on supporting the active processes that your body should be doing while you sleep.
Feeling good in the morning is a product of your body doing things while you’re sleeping, not being shut down. Good sleep quality is an active fitness process.
The key is better sleep – not just more.
Thirdzy is obsessed with performance – Your performance. You should be able to have great quality deep sleep, REM sleep, and muscle and joint recovery EVERY NIGHT.
Try our PM Recovery Collagen to get your strongest sleep!
All Thirdzy products are made with fitness athletes in mind.
We care about making our products safe and natural so they compliment your healthy lifestyle. That’s why we use only natural ingredients and put no sugar, sedatives, chemicals, or artificial fillers, colors or flavors in our products.