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How to disconnect for bed-time?
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How to disconnect for bed-time?

Hello, I've pretty intense hours at work and when I come home I have to juggle with dinner, attending my wife's needs, a newborn, our finances, etc. I've become a well-oiled time optimizing machine as result and keep going 100MPH to fit as much as I can in the time I have, which is great in terms of productivity. When bed time comes around though, I've a hard time turning off my brain to go to sleep. My mind keeps going thinking about what I didn't get to do, what I need to follow up on, etc. and it's quite difficult to stop it! So I often find myself laying down in bed for long periods of time without being able to fall asleep, which negatively affect my well-being the next day... Do you have any suggestion on how I can help my mind slow down for bed time?
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Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn yourself on and off like a computer or an appliance?  I’d love to have the switch easily accessible but hidden from view.  However, as you know, that isn’t possible.

So, what’s an overworked individual who’s juggling work, home, romance, finances, and trying to have a social life, to do?  You’ve just acknowledged that what you’re currently doing isn’t working.  Let’s examine why.  Yes, you explain that you are highly productive and efficient, using every millisecond of the day to get results.  However, look at the price you are paying.  So, what if I told you, you could still be efficient and highly productive but with less effort.  When you haven’t had a good night’s rest, your body and your mind is being overtaxed.  The analogy is when you drive your car even when it’s overheated.  What happens?  It eventually stops and there’s nothing you can do.  
So, the most important thing for you is to get a good night’s rest.  You will need a small window of time, when you are not producing, creating, worrying, or changing the world.  Instead, you will actually work on decompressing.  The choices are out there, so try one, a couple, and see what works for you.  The key is to slowly get lulled into sleep.  The first approach is to set the stage and give your body the signal that it’s time to start winding down.  Here are a few suggestions:  (If you find they are not helping, seek professional assistance.)

1. Take a nice warm shower or soak in a warm tub.  Be careful to avoid a chill.  
2. Practice qigong (pronounced chi-gung): a Chinese form of gentle movement exercises with some deep breathing.  
3. Try to eat your heaviest meals during the day.  Adjust the size of your meals:  make breakfast the biggest meal, lunch, the next biggest, and dinner, a light meal or snack.  If you eat a large meal two hours before trying to sleep, your metabolic rate and body temperature rising may prevent restful sleep.  
4. Fifteen minutes before heading off to bed, drink a glass of warm milk, which stimulates serotonin (promotes sleep).  
5. Try to eat a high-carbohydrate meal, or comfort food, two to four hours before bedtime.    
6. Read a novel (using a book light) so not to disturb your wife.
7. Watch an oldie, but goodie movie in black and white (less stimulation) like, “Pride and Prejudice” or a British drama that is very slow moving.  If you have cable, the AMC channel provides a good selection.  
8. Try a meditation CD or relaxation CD designed for sleep.
But If you continue to have difficulty falling asleep after trying these approaches, seek professional assistance.
Your Forum Coach Wanda
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