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Discover how to use the power of your mind to slip more easily into slumber.

Are you tired of tossing and turning each night? Wish you could nod off peacefully when you turn in?

There are a lot of things that can keep you awake at night. For example, maybe you have high levels of stress and anxiety (over, say, your financial situation, your job security, or your health), or you’re focused on something positive like excitement over an upcoming event, or you’re thinking about an everyday concern like the next day’s to-do list.

How do you quiet your thoughts so that you can relax and fall asleep? Something called guided imagery can help.

To try guided imagery, focus your mind on something like a mental picture or story . By putting all of your attention on something specific, you can escape from the cycle of going over and over the thoughts that are running through your brain and keeping you up. You’ll quickly feel more calm, positive, and peaceful . Guided imagery can also help you feel more in control and less helpless because you don’t have to just lie there—you can actually do something . This works for normal sleepless nights, as well as when you’re in extremely stressful situations.

So how do you do it? Get comfortable, close your eyes, and think about a specific moment, scene, or story—it doesn’t matter what you think about as long as it’s relaxing. For instance, you might imagine sitting on the beach with the waves lapping at your feet or reading underneath a tree with the leaves on the branches gently swaying in the wind. Get as detailed as possible—what do you see, smell, hear, taste, and feel? And don’t rush the process—go slowly. If you find your mind wandering back to whatever was keeping you up, just turn your focus back to the imagery again. Keep doing this until you drift off.