Regular, quality sleep is fundamental to well being. At the same time, sleep difficulties can indicate areas of contraction in body, energy and mind which need attention. Between waking consciousness and the great home-coming of dreamless sleep can be obstacles and our attitude to these obstacles can make all the difference between anxiety, stress and depression and a healing opportunity.
This video shows how disruptive sleep irregularity can be to the body and psychology. Below that, are seven tips to help support the rhythm, ease and quality of sleep.
1. White Noise
Setting up a source of white noise can make a big difference. It can be a machine that has various white noise settings, such as falling rain or water running, or it can be as simple as a small fan running near your bed.
Some people choose to turn a radio on and listen to static as they fall asleep. Whatever it takes, get some white noise going to help you fall asleep faster.
2. Make Lists
Nothing seems to keep you awake more than a racing mind. Take a moment before falling asleep to write down the next day’s plans and to-do list, and if you need to, note down brief steps you plan to take to solve immediate problems.
If it’s the long term you’re worried about, make a list of long-term goals and the steps necessary to accomplish them.
3. Put the Body to Sleep
Used by some parents to help their babies and small children fall asleep, you can try this on yourself. Start with your toes, and “tell them goodnight.”
You don’t have to say it, of course, but simply wiggle your toes a moment, and then tell them to relax. Do the same for your feet, legs, and so forth all the way up to your neck. Gradually relax each muscle group and body part. It will soon become second nature.
4. Invite peace, or unified presence into sleep with you
The surrender of the sense of separation is fundamental part of our dissolution into sleep. Where we hold onto a sense of separate identity, there can be difficulty in deep relaxation. It can be helpful to recall the feeling atmosphere of peace and care, allowing it to expand through all layers of experience and dissolving thoughts and feelings into that.
5. Watch the heat
The body naturally cools down when going to sleep, and experts maintain that cooling the room enhances this natural cool-down process. Turn the thermostat to a cooler setting, and use fans if you need to during summer.
6. Herbal remedies
Chamomile and lavender are two sleep-promoting herbs that have a good safety record. Try a cup of chamomile tea right after dinner or an hour before bed (if you drink it right before you go to bed, it might get you up to go to the bathroom).
If you like the smell, spray sheets and pillow cases with lavender mist (mix 5-8 drops lavender essential oil with 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol in a mister).
Blend for Insomnia
- Clary Sage – 3 drops
- Vetiver – 2 drops
- Valerian – 1 drop
- Lavender – 2 drops
Use 2 drops of mixture in a foot bath.
- Lavender – 1 drop
- Marjoram – 3 drops
- Roman Chamomile – 3 drops
- Valerian – 1 drop