By Alexandra Plane and Donna Nolan.
Following on from our previous blogs “Do you have difficulty with sleep?” and “An Introduction to Rhythms and Cycles around Sleep“, you may wish to explore our below favourite self-loving winding down tips for a good night sleep.
1) “Tune-in” 2 to 3 hours before your bed time (for us it is around 6pm)
Make a conscious effort to become even more aware of the quality of energy that you are living in ie. are you rushing, doing mode, in drama or emotional overwhelm? Choose to stay present with what you are doing moment to moment and connected with your body (i.e feel your body, your breath, the quality of your movements, your voice etc).
2) Favour “being” over “doing”
Notice if you go into rushing to get things done so that you can have some “me” time. Make your “me” time be about you being with yourself in what you are doing as you are doing it, whatever that is. Remember we are “human beings”, not “human doings”!
3) Develop a regular routine of going to bed at the same time
Your body will love a regular rhythm. The best quality of sleep and what is most supportive for healing from an esoteric medicine point of view is from 9pm – 3am. If you are a night owl, try going to bed a bit earlier in small incremental stages, perhaps half an hour earlier for a month or so, see how that feels and then slowly move your bed time to an earlier time. Feel how it is for you in your body. This is a little easier to do in winter – so try now!
4) Engage in quality activities
Turn off both the computer and the TV at least an hour before you go to bed so you are not going into additional mental, intellectual or nervous stimulation before sleep. Enjoy maybe taking a nice evening walk, a long shower or a nurturing warm bath and really use this last hour to prepare yourself – physically and energetically – for your night sleep.
5) Don’t engage in heavy conversations before bed that will lead you into more thinking and potential emotional upset
Save them for the morning when you are feeling fresh.
6) Open your awareness to “cycles” – Meet tomorrow now
Have you noticed how we are met in the morning by the exact same quality of being we go to bed with? Such as going to be with un-resolved emotional issues, an exhausted body or an out of control mind. The answers to that is to develop a quality of being in our daily evening rhythms that equals the quality of being we want to enjoy for the day ahead.
7) Make time to “digest” and/or reflect on your day
What was the quality of your day? Did you react a lot? Did you take on a lot from others or circumstances around you? In other words, how was your ability to simply observe and not absorb. Appreciate and celebrate what you did well and learn the lessons for those instances where you lost your connection with yourself.
8) Gentle Breath Meditation
If you feel your body and/or mind out of sorts and difficult to settle with conscious presence and gentle movement, try the gentle breath meditation.
9) Put yourself to bed lovingly, tenderly and with awareness
Take a few gentle breaths feeling you lying down in your bed. Let your body go, surrender.
10) Close your eyes to be with you
Open and close your eyes slowly, gently and with presence a few times – coming to feel the warmth of your eyelids and the spherical nature of your eyeballs – until you feel to close them the last time to simply be with you. Falling asleep with ourselves is very beautiful, both deeply self-honoring and healing.
Donna Nolan and Alexandra Plane teach Yoga, Meditation and assist people in their healing via Esoteric Therapies, Massage, Yoga and Meditation. Contact them here.