Sleep is the best form of meditation.Dalai Lama
When the stars come out to play and the evening takes on the melodic glow of night, when my dog is snoring in the joy of his slumber, my bed beckons me. I love the softness of the duvet and the six freshly starched and ironed pillowcases that encompass my head. The quiet stillness of the house yields to the sense of rest. My thoughts slow to a: glide as if sifting through the movie reel highlights of the day, playing black and white images that distort further and further as sleep envelopes me. My mind and consciousness swirl into a free fall that consumes me . . . . . for 2.5 hours.
And then. . . . .
I am awake. There’s been no outside noise or distraction that should otherwise cause me to awaken. The blackness of the room still cocoons me. I continue to lie still as if asleep until my side is painful and I must shift to my back or other side. The long minutes drag into even longer hours though I refuse to look at the clock. To see that the time is between 1AM and 2AM is just the validation that I already know to be true. It’s nearly the same time five nights out of seven. If I really took a look at the clock, it would simply send my heart racing and undo the calming effects of trying to maintain my restful being.
The relaxing music I put on at bedtime ended long ago, and though I remain willfully blind, the current moment in time is now approaching the shade of sky that comes just before the first crack of sunlight. Eventually, after an hour or two unsuccessfully willing myself back to sleep, I succumb to the inevitable pattern of throwing back the covers, sloshing to the kitchen or living room and begin engaging in other non-nocturnal activities.
Sleep is one of the most powerful and kind things you can offer your self. It is essential for survival, and it’s also the prime time for the body and mind to do some serious healing work. With the normal stressors of life, adulting, pandemics, and the like, finding a solid night of sleep can often times feel elusive, even impossible.
Over the years of insomnia and restlessness that have pervaded my being, I have tried several therapies to aid in a restful night’s sleep. Here are a handful of strategies that have promoted a good night’s sleep for me, as well as why our bodies require sleep for functional and healthy lives.
It took me some time before I learned some of these practices that promoted a good night’s sleep. In fact, I had to seek some assistance from my primary care physician and a naturopath before nights of restful sleep outweighed the number of sleepless nights. Hopefully they will assist you with improving the quality of your sleep.
Sleep doesn’t have to be a battle every night if you commit to taking care of your health during the day, and especially in the hours leading up to getting some shut-eye. Take a deep breath, think soothing thoughts, cut out the things that are making your mind race, and offer yourself the gift of a full night’s sleep. Sweet dreams!
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