Part of my personal journey has been to learn about how to get good sleep. Even when I was little I sometimes struggled to get good sleep but once teenage hormones and adult worries came along most nights became a search for a restful and complete sleep. These days it is a rare night when I don’t get to sleep easily. I thought I would share some of the tips to get to sleep that help me stay rested and more resilient.
Learning Brain Gym® was my first major turnaround. Brain Gym stops the over activity of a brain in ‘trying mode’ which means it can help us to relax into a good night sleep or help us calm the mind enough to enable it to stay asleep. If you know PACE (the foundation 4 steps) that is a great place to start. If you don’t have a look at http://heartsatplay.com/videos/brain-gym-activities/
If you have done Brain Gym training and know the menu have a play with any movements you know, just follow your intuition. Do some each night before you go to bed. It can take a week before you really see progress but if calming an overactive brain is one of your keys to a good nights sleep you still start to notice a difference.
Another way to help train the brain to restful sleep is good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is all about creating a good before bed pattern to support slowing down and welcoming in a good nights sleep. It is particularly useful for those who have trouble nodding off or who wake after the initial REMs and can’t get back to sleep. Good sleep hygiene is fairly simple; turn off all bright lights, TV’s and technology, especially phones and computers, about an hour before you want to fall asleep.
Look at your daily activities and plan to do the more energizing items earlier in the day. For example while exercise can tire us out, exercising close to bedtime is often not a great idea, nor is stimulating conversation or idea generation. The exception is doing a brain dump of worries or to do’s for the next day, it can help stop the middle of the night wake-fuls. (And if you have a tendency to those, try keeping a pen and a notepad by the bed to get them out and get back to sleep quickly.)
Next, in that hour before sleep, engage in calming (even boring) pursuits and create a regular ‘getting to bed’ routine, perhaps include a bath, some light reading, some herb tea or hot drink and maybe a meditation. Dim lights help regulate the pineal to help us to go to sleep and stay asleep. Many people find taking Melatonin helps with re-establishing the ‘it’s dark now, time to sleep’ pattern. I always use it to help with jet-lag. If the issue is the electromagnetic field then you may also need to turn off your modem or wi-fi and remove all technology from your sleeping area.
Speaking of meditation, often a guided relaxation meditation or Yoga Nidra (progressive relaxation) is a better option than sitting at night as a sitting or un-guided meditation can trigger emotions or issues. In addition, jumping into bed often doesn’t relax anything if our body tends toward holding tightness in the muscles and fascia. Forward bends and other quieting yoga practices can calm the mind or a suitable guided meditation can help us to relax our body and mind for sleep. Hypnotherapy can also be useful, especially if you have sorted out the underlying issues keeping you awake.
It is not a good idea to eat to close to bedtime but a glass of hot milk (if tolerated) or a snack of almonds can be helpful as part of a sleep routine. Both contribute amino acids, minerals and protein which help us to fall and stay asleep. Many people are also Magnesium deficient. Tight muscles, stressful life or a super busy brain is often a sign … if this resonates you can try a good magnesium supplement, but if you don’t eat much dairy or food rich in Calcium make sure that the supplement includes Calcium (Magnesium needs Calcium to be absorbed).
This article was written by Gay Landeta with the intention of helping you to Create the Life you Want to Live! All rights reserved 2015.