Many people tell me they experience times when they find it hard to fall or stay asleep. Personally, I'm aware that if I don't get enough sleep, I don't function half as well as when I've slept properly, and that I tend to be moody and irritable. However, when my "sleep tank" is full, I'm happy, creative and a bundle of positive energy!
Below are some ideas to inspire you to get yourself into that wonderful sleep zone.
1.Pick a wind down time; an hour or two before the time you normally tend to sleep. By creating this space you allow yourself to ease yourself into a more relaxed state of being.
During this special, pre-bed time zone........
2. Shut down the electrics. Whether it's the mobile phone, being online or watching television. All these gadgets can distract you from winding down, or even wake you during the night. Keep all electronic items separate from the sleeping area including your mobile phone, (which can be placed near enough for you to hear it for an urgent call but far enough away for it not to be in the room with you).
3. Do something that gently relaxes you; be it a bath, a gentle walk around the block or some stretching. While doing this, start to let go. Let go of the events of the day and allow yourself to gently slip into a calmer state of being.
4. Keep conversations light; to allow your mind to slow down. Make an agreement with yourself and others to park any challenging issues, to allow yourself to "sleep on them" and address them in the morning.
5. Journal. It could be as simple as noting 3 things for which you are grateful, or writing down your thoughts and feelings from the day, along with what you felt went well. This allows you to enter the sleep mode in a positive mindset.
6. If you like to read or listen to music before you sleep; aim to read material that is peaceful in nature or to listen to music that is gentle and calming.
7. Open the window before you go to bed to allow fresh air to enter the room (especially if you sleep with the windows closed or almost closed). You'll be sleeping in the same place for quite a few hours, ideally, so the fresher the air that surrounds you the better.
8. Set an intention of what you want to use your sleep time for. You may have the same intention every evening, or change it depending on the circumstances. e.g "tonight I want to use my sleep time to really fully rest my tired body; or "I want to use my sleep time to have a clear mind and be focused in the morning"; or "I want to use my sleep time to fully allow myself to let go of X situation".
9. Meditate, pray, be still. This allows the mind to empty and the body to enter a more peaceful state.
10. Love. Whether it's simply wishing someone a good night's sleep; cuddling up, making love, tucking your children in to bed or simply feeling love and gratitude; going to bed with feelings of love will allow the body to feel safe and happy and able to rest peacefully.
My invitation to you: set an intention to create the optimum conditions that will allow you to receive the gift of sleep every night - and thus restore mind, body and soul.
Some questions to ponder:
How do you feel when your "sleep tank" is running low?
What image represents a peaceful night's sleep to you?
What actions inspire you towards a peaceful night's sleep?
I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please feel free to share them and comment below and/or to contact me directly via my website