How to Get to Sleep

Sometimes I have a bit of difficulty dropping off to sleep. It doesn’t happen that often, but if my mind has been particularly active in the hours before going to bed, occasionally, it just won’t shut down. I will get into bed and lay there for a period of time, sometimes perhaps thirty minutes to an hour, only to realise that tonight it is going to be one of those nights.

On occasions, I have been dog-tired too, but despite that fact, sometimes I have a great deal of difficulty drifting off. When I feel like that, what I have often done in the past is just get up again and do a bit of work. I can quite easily be up for most of the night and end up turning in during the early hours of the morning. Usually, this is not much of a problem because the next night, I can be guaranteed to sleep like a baby.

However, recently, I have developed a little technique that I would like to share with you and, if you suffer from the same problem, perhaps you might like to give it a try. What I do is imagine myself about to take a space flight. I close my eyes and imagine myself getting into my space suit and then, very slowly walking across the gantry at the launch site and settling into the craft, as I have seen so many astronauts do in the past.

In my head, it is just like the scene from the movie Apollo 13. I get myself settled into my seat and the ground crew start strapping me in good and tight. They leave the ship, close the hatches, wave at us through the window and then disappear. Then there is the countdown followed by the tremendous thrust that pushes me back into my seat as the rockets burst into life and within the next couple of minutes, we are in space.

I glance to my left and, through the window, I can see the Earth gradually receding into the distance. Then I look toward the heavens and begin to notice the familiar constellations. The space ship is controlled just by my thoughts and, now that we are in space, I decide to take a journey through the solar system starting with Mercury. We orbit and then fly off to Venus. There are nine planets (if we count Pluto) to visit in all, and I like to do them in the right order.

Although we are flying at incredible speed, it seems all very slow and easy to me and I really enjoy the flight taking in all of the wonderful scenery. Now – here’s the thing – whenever I have used this little meditation, I have never once managed to get to the outer planets of the solar system. I am always fast asleep when my spacecraft finally leaves the solar system to journey to the next star system.

It works every time for me.

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