March 23, 2024

My Best Sleep Hack Yet! (Help for getting a better night’s sleep)

We all know how important a good night’s sleep is. Without it, one can be easy prey for anxiety, lethargy, and even depression to set in. This can cause you to think negatively about yourself. On the other hand, when you have a good night’s sleep, you have a positive outlook and more energy to get things done. You feel good about yourself!

I have determined that the main reason I don’t easily fall asleep, whether when I first go to bed or when I can’t get back to sleep in the middle of the night, is unwanted thoughts that consume my mind. Anyone else find that? 

This practice will help most people with their ‘getting-to-sleep challenges’. Whether you have sleep problems or not, you will benefit from this practice.

I have been doing the following practice for about 4 months now, and it has helped me more than anything else to improve my sleep quality. It is not absolutely foolproof, but it is the best so far!

I found that silently repeating a word that I like, like “source,” “peace,” “nourish,” or “heal,” etc.. Or, a combination of words like “source, nourish, heal,” helps me sleep longer and return to sleep more easily after waking in the night.

Repetition of these word/s is not coordinated with your breath. In fact, your breath will become more and more subtle. Don’t be attached to the meaning of the words. They are just words to hold your mind’s attention. 

My words are “source, nourish, heal”. This is called a mantra meditation. If you prefer another meditation, please feel free to do so.

 Here is what I suggest…

  1. First, for a couple of minutes while getting ready for bed, take strong, “raspy” breaths in and out through the nostrils. Keep the breaths focused and fairly rapid. Keep your gaze low. Keep your focus on the sound of your strong breathing. This starts to shut down your thoughts. Those thoughts are just waiting for their opportunity to jump in!


  2. Then, sit in bed for just 5 – 10 minutes and silently repeat your chosen word/s. The pace of the repetition should be fast enough so that the thoughts don’t have room to pop up. Don’t be attached to the meaning of the words. They are just words to hold your mind’s attention. Do not meditate for longer than 10 minutes. Don’t expect a magical moment of meditative bliss! It is a simple repetition of your word/s over and over again. When you notice you have wandered, you must return to your word/s. The more you can do this, the better. Remember, these words are not coordinated with your breath. Your breath will be very subtle.


  3. After meditating, lie down and repeat the word/words silently until you fall asleep.


  4. If you wake up in the night (I always do, to pee), the key is to notice you are awake as soon as possible (so you don’t start thinking again!). Get up and go to the bathroom. While doing so, return to the strong breathing before your thoughts can take over. Then, when you get back into bed, focus on the word/s again. I am always amazed at how I get back to sleep at this point!


  5. But, if I do not go back to sleep, after about 15 minutes, I sit up in bed and meditate again for another
    5 – 10 minutes or do some relaxing breathwork.
    (inhale 4, hold 4, exhale 8)  It is better to sit up and meditate for 5 – 10 minutes than to lie trying to get to sleep for an hour or 2!


  6. Don’t let the thoughts take over. Thoughts are so invasive, especially negative thoughts. You have to be a little strict about shoo-ing them out! That’s your job all night! That is why, throughout the night, you must keep focusing on your strong breathing, your word/s, or your relaxing breathwork to replace the thoughts.


Whether you have sleep problems or not, you will notice a change. You will be more organized and will cope with life better (because of all the meditation!).

My whole night becomes like an on-and-off meditation, so I don’t feel the need to sit in meditation when I wake up in the morning. Instead, I wake up and get on with my day instead of sitting in meditation first!

Those who feel too busy to meditate in the day will appreciate and benefit from this time to meditate in the night.

This takes practice! Do this every night.

I welcome comments and questions.
You can contact me through the CONTACT link on this website.

Please let me know if this helps you have better sleep!


  • All the meditation and breathing help me accept graciously whatever hours of sleep I am given. I have decided I will not be afraid of bedtime.

  • Decide to love bedtime. Repeat silently to yourself, “I love bedtime! I love bedtime!”. Say it like you mean it. This works for me!

  • Make it a cozy time that you look forward to even if you have a bad relationship with bedtime ( i.e. fear you won’t fall asleep). Try reading a good book, having sleepy time tea, having a warm bath, etc. (I know…you have probably tried all these before.)

  • Aim to get to sleep by 10:00 PM. That means start getting ready at 9:00-ish.

  • Remember, even if you don’t sleep well, all is good. You are going to get lots of meditation! This will help you let go of the fear of not being able to fall asleep.

  • When I first start repeating my words, I count 4 repetitions on each finger x 20 times. This is an additional way to keep the mind focused.

  • Have a shawl beside your bed to keep you warm for the seated meditation.

  • Have a firm cushion to sit on in bed to make sitting in bed easier.

  • Keep the lighting as low as possible in the late evening. And especially when getting ready for bed.

  • Other ideas for mantra… I am well…I am love…I am light

What works for you? I would love to hear!
Dorothy xo