Your mind is racing, you can’t get comfortable, and even your usual lavender mist doesn’t make you sleepy. What to do now ? How can you finally fall asleep? The answer is definitely not to count sheep. No, it doesn’t, and it might even make you take longer to rest.

Experts recommend what’s called a “mental walk” instead. Think of a walk you know very well. It can be just a walk in the forest, an excursion or a walk on the beach, then try to reproduce it. Focus to the point of saying to yourself, “I’m getting out of my house, up the stairs, and walking away.” When our brain affects our sleep, it’s often because we’re “tired but mentally wired”, it’s “a sure sign that our stress response is over-activated”.

A mind walk is worth trying as it is very similar to mindfulness and meditation. Getting our mind to settle down, relax and unwind is a very effective method of cutting through the hubbub and getting our body to give in to sleep. Looks good to us. So how do we create a mental walk that helps us fall asleep? The experts give us their advice.

How to take a great “mental walk” and finally fall asleep?

Pick a walk you’ve done before.

Choose a walk that you enjoy and that is familiar to you. It can be local, but also a favorite walk you discovered on vacation, or great gardens you once visited. Don’t have a favorite walk that comes to mind? Good news: now you have a reason to take a walk this weekend and enjoy all its benefits.

Pause at your starting point.

Before you begin to visualize your ride, take a moment to mentally still yourself, breathe slowly and deeply, and observe the surroundings you are imagining.

Focus on your senses.

Concentrate on the environment, its smell, its sensations. It could be a walk on a beach, with the sound of the waves and the heat on your skin, or maybe a walk in the woods with the sound of birds. What makes you feel good?

Dig into the details.

That’s why choosing a walk that you took while awake is essential. Perhaps you would like to explore your five senses at this time. What could you hear if you were in the desired destination right now? Maybe you can smell the fresh country air or the salty sea breeze.

If you were to reach out and touch something, what would you touch, how would it feel? If you were to really look and pay attention, what could you see that you haven’t spent a lot of time looking at before? Can you taste the salty sea air? Maybe you have a refreshing drink in your hand or in your backpack?

Slow down.

When we remember something or imagine a moment in time, we often find ourselves going much faster than if the event were happening in real time. Another good tip is to slow down. It can help you absorb and focus on the beautiful scenery that attracts you.

Do not hesitate to use support to help you.

Some of us find it difficult to visualize with such depth – and that’s fine. Try using additional tools to immerse your mind in this soothing ride. You can download a hypnotherapy recording, read a book or look at nature photos before bed, or put on some pink noise to make you feel like you’re at the beach.

Take the same mental walk every night.

During your waking hours, it can seem boring to follow the same path day after day. But it’s exactly what you need when it comes to sleep.

Try to follow the same pattern every night. You may notice different elements during your walk and sometimes you’ll focus more on one moment than another, but keeping the same route helps your brain enter relaxation.

Don’t give up on the first try.

Consistency is king. It may not be a quick fix or it may not work right away. Give it a chance, your mind needs a chance to get used to this new routine and recognize that this mental walk is synonymous with sleep.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.