While having a bad time falling asleep recently, I tried to mindfully analyse what are the usual causes of insomnia.

Long ago I had this observation that meditation helps having better sleep – the idea I had is that it trains us to control our mind and not fall into the rabbit hole of anxious rumination.

This time I tried to categorize various types of thoughts which usually occupy our head before sleep and I tried to highlight “calming” types of thinking which usually helps me to fall into sleep:

  • Rumination. Usually random thoughts on our recent experience, doesn’t fuel anxiety much but keeps our brain busy, so not the worst pattern but not best to fall asleep.
  • Regret. Fuels anxiety and puts the brain into “unsafe” mode, bad for sleep.
  • Fight. The type of regret where you actively go through the situation again and again – even worse.
  • Ideation. Does not fuel anxiety but puts the brain in active mode which prevents sleep significantly. Many sleepless nights that I had were “ideation” sessions which although seem productive are in fact contrary.
  • Dreaming. When we engage in unrealistic thinking about possible events or abstract things. The best mode for the brain to fall asleep from my experience – as it is the actual mode in which the brain is while actually sleeping. This is my goal every evening. I start by visualising the best fantastical outcome for my plans and goals – pretty motivating and fun process.
  • Blocking. The activity which is trained through meditation – “the art of no-thinking”. An option but not as fun as the previous one.

Hope this helps.