So Much Gets in the Way of Getting to Sleep
Many of the people who completed the recent sleep survey I offered in my Centering Tools email newsletter said their biggest problem was being able to quiet their minds to fall asleep. As sleep deprivation is more and more targeted in clinical research as being a key contributor to anxiety, depression, confusion, obesity, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and compromised recovery from illness – even compromising the immune system – we understandably feel more and more pressed to get a good night’s sleep.
In addition, our increasingly stressed and overburdened culture seems to place more and more unreasonable demands on our time, achieving externally-determined “results”, and “keeping many balls in the air” focus. All of these ongoing challenges make it that much more difficult to “clear my mind” as I’ve read over and over again in the survey responses, to not only get to sleep but stay asleep.
My Holistic “Three-Pronged” Approach
In holistic terms we really need to be able to “quiet” our bodies, minds and spirits to transition into full, restful, required sleep. Here is my three-pronged approach to accomplish that:
Clear, Soothe and Feed Your Body/Mind/Spirit
1. Stop any/all activities that tie you to “finishing” your day an hour before retiring to soothe and “shut down” waking functions – treat yourself to a “free hour” where you feed and clear your energy in all ways that return you to a place of balance – “center”. Examples could be reading whatever quiets and soothes your mind (that’s why it’s called a “bedtime story”), which disconnects you from your daytime reality; listening to classical music or a guided meditation audio; or soaking in a bath with lavender or Epson salts.
2. Well wrap up your day (and yourself!) by completing a brief journaling exercise as follows, to clear and feed your mind and spirit:
I turn over to higher power (however you understand it to be)
3. During your “retirement hour” check in with yourself re: comfort to feed (literally!) and soothe . . . and do whatever it takes to feel very, very comfortable. A lot of times hunger stemming from not having had enough nutrition and/or fluid intake during the day can prevent getting and staying asleep, speaking of why we traditionally give kids a bedtime snack! We also encourage kids to go to sleep with “lovies”, as I used to describe the blankets and stuffed animals I offered my children – how about one for you, whether it is your partner or a teddy bear?
Happy experimenting – and let me know how it all goes by commenting at the end of this blog article – I love hearing from you. Give yourself the gift of “going the distance” into dreamland – and know you’re so worth this commitment!
In love and light, Marjorie