How often have you tossed and turned to find you either can’t sleep or are awake for periods throughout the night? During our day much stimulates our brain. Each blink of the eye captures a picture, and with each image, there is an emotion and thought connected to it. Imagine how many of those are being created each second.
How do we process all that information? The majority is done during our sleep in our dream state.
Let me share a metaphor. Imagine all those pictures, emotions and thoughts as paper piled up high on a desk. When we sleep, we naturally process through our dreams and file everything away. In the morning after a peaceful sleep, our desk is cleared, and we feel refreshed and motivated to begin the new day. During a restless sleep, we awaken to a messy desk causing us to feel tired and defeated before the day even starts because our processing had been interrupted.
So how can we support ourselves to sleep effectively and awaken refreshed?
Step One –
Your bedroom is your sanctuary – Keep it tidy, clean and appealing. Invest in a good pillow and comfortable bedding. If you have a television in your room, turn it off at the power point before sleeping and cover it, and better still, remove it from the bedroom.
Cleanse your bedroom each week by washing your sheets, opening the window and burning white sage or use a cleansing oil such as Purification by Young Living in a vaporiser. Remember, we do a lot of processing in our dreams, and therefore we need to shift that energy so that we don’t continue to lay in it.
Step Two –
Empty your thoughts on paper – Write a to-do list so your mind is at ease and won’t keep you awake because it’s concerned you will forget something in the morning. Keep a pen and paper beside the bed and if you do wake, write it down, and then you’ll find it easier to go back to sleep.
Step Three –
Foot Bath – As we wake each day, we need the yang energy of the sun or the light of the day to motivate us to move and get things done. At night, we need the yin energy, the moonlight or the night sky to nurture ourselves and rest and restore our strength.
If you’re wired and find it challenging to relax before bed. Put some warm water in a bucket and immerse your feet. This will lower your energy into the yin and calm your nervous system. Then, take some deep conscious breaths into your belly and sit quietly for ten minutes with your eyes gently closed and feel the warmth of the water on your feet.
Step Four –
Set a sensible routine – Go to bed each night at a similar time, or at least, most nights. A routine supports your mind to know that it’s time to wind down and readies you for sleep.
Low lighting one hour before bedtime will support you to slow down and cutting out stimulants such as coffee, tea, smoking etc. at that time would be helpful.
Step Five –
Your digestive system is vital – If you suffer indigestion, it will cause great discomfort. Take notice of the foods and drinks that trigger your heartburn and remove them from your diet, and see a naturopath, nutritionist or doctor for help.
Step Six –
Ready for bed – Use aromatherapy oils such as lavender, a drop on your pillow will do a treat or Young Living’s Peace and Calming, a drop rubbed in your hands then onto each shoulder is blissful.
Putting on gentle, relaxing music or a guided meditation can also help. Please ensure that you don’t have to wake to turn it off.
Step Seven –
Thoughts Won’t Stop! – One of the techniques I have suggested to many of my clients is to create a mantra that you say over and over in your head. This fills the space, calms the mind and dissolves the thoughts. Always use I am, I feel which will support your senses, such as I am safe, I feel safe or any other word you choose. A mantra can be used at the beginning of sleep or if you wake with thoughts that are not serving you.
Another strategy would be to place one hand at the back of your neck, and the other at the base of your head and relax your arms, then focus on the warmth filtering through your hands. This will often stop the thoughts and calm you down.
Trust these simple strategies will support a night of restful and peaceful sleep. Sweet dreams.