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If you’re trying to fall asleep, forget counting sheep. In a study of insomniacs, the people who visualized a nice scene – whether they’d been there or not – fell asleep faster than those who tried counting forward or backward. That’s because conjuring up detailed images in your mind takes up enough cognitive space that it can distract other thoughts – like everything that’s on tomorrow’s to-do list. Plus, thinking about a positive image, like a peaceful beach, or a tranquil mountain vista, can reduce stress hormones and help you drift off to sleep faster.

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