The days leading up to a big trip or an important event are often ones with lots of emotion. Typically, people feel excited, but you may also feel anxious, nervous, or apprehensive. No matter how your feelings are manifesting, your sleep is probably affected! It can be hard to truly get the restful sleep you need when you’re preoccupied with the speech you have to make or the beach that you get to lounge on.
When we don’t get enough sleep, no matter the reason why, we are not operating at our best. Our brains and bodies are slower, our patience is thinner, and our productivity is weaker. And given that we’re often scrambling to finish our last-minute tasks before an event, we can’t afford to be walking zombies! So how can we get quality sleep when we’re feeling excited (anxious, nervous) before a trip or big event?
Journal Your Feelings
Sometimes the best way to process our emotions is to write them down. A trick used by many creative people is “garbage writing.” Garbage writing (also known as morning pages) is the habit of writing at least 3 pages of longhand notes a day. This kind of writing has no structure—literally whatever comes to mind. The idea is to take all the jumble in our brains and get it out on paper, so that we can move on with our day with focus and clarity. Garbage writing is also only for your eyes, no other audience intended. This makes it a safe space to chronicle whatever comes into your head, so you can usher it out again.
This habit is typically used in the morning, as a way to start the day off with a clean slate. There’s no reason you can’t use it before bed, though, to process the day and any lingering feelings that could impede your sleep.
Big emotions that hinder sleep come from a busy brain. Meditation helps calm the brain, putting it into a state of peace. If you’re new to meditation, start with a short, guided program. There are many apps and programs out there and, like most things, it all boils down to your own individual tastes.
Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself distracted while meditating. Meditation is something that requires practice, and it can take awhile to get the hang of it. Programs that ask you to imagine specific scenarios are often easiest when starting out.
Make a List
If part of your anxiety or nervousness has to do with not wanting to forget details or items, it might help to write them down. A packing list for a trip, a list of key points for a big meeting, or a to-do list of all the things you need to finish before you go may help you feel more organized. By putting all your items in one place, your brain doesn’t have to worry that it’s going to forget something. Bonus tip: Use a cloud based solution like Google Keep and you can update your list no matter where you are.
Find the Beat
Using binaural beats can help your brain find a state of relaxation. They can be especially helpful for coaxing your brain out of overdrive and into deep and restful sleep (more on how they work here). Zenfully is your go-anywhere app for customizable binaural beats, for effort free relaxation. Pair the beats with a calming soundscape like the rainforest or a didgeridoo for ultimate sleep preparation.
By getting intentional with your pre-event plan, you can ward off a case of the zombies and focus on productivity instead. Vacations are so much more enjoyable that way!
Use of Zenfully is not intended as a substitute for professional medical device, nor does Zenfully diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always consult a doctor before starting any new program.