How is that going for you…can’t get to sleep, waking up during the night and can’t go to sleep, or waking up to early and feeling like you’ve surrendered to the dragons of bad dreams instead of serenity?
Making your night habit is as important as your morning habit and life goal is a dream date with yourself.
The top physical issues that prevent quality of sleep to look at first are:
-Irregular Blood Pressure
-High Blood Sugar
-Hormonal Imbalances, Menopause, Perimenopause
-Dis-ease: Pain and Discomfort relating to the body’s response mechanisms.
-Temperature of the Bedroom – the bedroom should be cooler at night
-Fabrics – that you sleep with and on the bed – are they natural or synthetic
-Environmental allergies – they may be unknown or known – soap used to wash them, fabric softener may cause unknown allergies as you are breathing these in during the night – is there carpet in the bedroom? Animals in the bedroom?
The following are questions to ponder and appreciative enquiry into what might work better with your date to sleep well…
1. Wine and alcohol are delayed stimulants, meaning they will affect the stages of sleep, let you go to sleep easily but will wake you up.
Often because the liver (organ of detox) works during sleep time it is working harder to process alcohol. Getting up to go to the washroom is another side effect, as the kidneys are trying to flush the alcohol out and cleanse the blood.
2. Caffeine, from coffee, (teas, ie., green tea, oolong tea) will affect sleep in some people. The relationships between adenosine (a chemical produced in the body that helps the body to know it is ready to sleep) is shut off. Each person needs to know their tolerance to caffeine and time to stop drinking it, and amount. The dark blends of coffee actually have less caffeine.
3. If you are overthinking, let your feet soak in very warm, not hot water to drain the blood down from the brain. Alternatively flower essences will help but not the same one every night. White Chestnut is one, but if there are underlying emotional issues, such as worry, overconcern for others, unknown fears, relationship breakdowns, family responsibilities, over giving, financial difficulties, these are best addressed also.
4. Darkness in the room. Melatonin levels are affected through the suprachiasmatic nucleus where light shines in through the eyes. You must have a darkened room. If you need to get up in the night, a salt lamp to gently illuminate the way, without having to turn on a night light is helpful.
5. TV’s, computer, iPads, cellphones are best shut off and do not belong in the bedroom, nor do old love letters, dust bunnies under the bed, clothes on the floor and mirrors facing your bed. These are EMF’s and energetic elements that affect the subconscious mind. Clothes on the floor are not part of the ‘self love’ habit, and anything on the floor can potentially cause you to bump into something. Heaven knows, I had a chair out of place in the bedroom, stubbed my baby toe and broke it.
6. If working with your hands (like working with energetic elements of nature, ie., rocks, stones, minerals, bodywork), this may affect sleep because the elements can be overstimulating. Working with the hands in connection with nature or the body can also stimulate the ting points (acupuncture points) on the fingers and hands. Being surrounded by too much rock/stone can also be overstimulating. Who would have ever thought! Giving yourself gentle massage and sweeping off energy no longer needed or soaking hands in sea salt water are a few techniques.
7. Foot massage. This is often heard of as a technique to help sleep but I would suggest not to work deeply on the toes. This can be stimulating to the brain. Massage the back of the heels and the bottom of the feet, especially if you’ve been working on your feet all day. Work gently on the toes. I know as a Reflexology Therapist, I am not able to sleep well if I have late clients. My fingers are too stimulated, and I no longer work my toes at night as they give me more energy. Massage the feet (entire foot in the mornings is better for some), therefore my mind is too active. Ground yourself before going to sleep. I use a peony meditation sinking down into the earth, admiring the scent and petals of the peony and its longevity and beauty. I invite you try your own meditation that is not on a device.
8. Go to sleep by 11:00 p.m. In TCM theory, certain organs are at their height of working during 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. If you need to make big decisions, ensure you are sleeping by 11:00. If you are not able to go to sleep, what is going on in your heart? Bring your energy from the mind to the heart. If you are waking up between 1:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m. Ask if there is an emotion coming up that might be calling you to heal. Have you had too many stimulants during that day? From sugar, to coffee, alcohol, vitamin C can be stimulating if taken at night. Too much social media, tv, cell phone, even too much talking or giving energy away without bringing it back in. Say thank you to your liver for all its hard work. It is the General of the body, and often wishes to have more respect as an organ. Salute it!
Eating meals later than 7:00 p.m. may affect sleep. If you are waking between 3:00 a.m.-5:00 a.m. what is it that your lungs might be trying to tell you. Do you need to let go of something, some aspect of life, or heal the past? Do you have enough fresh air and breathing well?
9. Lemon balm tea after dinner is a lovely tea. Some herbal recommendations would be: tinctures of passionflower, valerian, hops (at your discretion).
10. Have a ritual, routine and love that time for yourself (or if you have kids/teens), teach them that you need that time also.
11. Stretching the knots out of the body before bed helps with sleep, whether you do yoga or stretch the joints and muscles.
12. Please consider your toothpaste, facial creams, body creams at night and day… if it is a regular one with chemicals, you are putting more toxins into the body at bedtime when the body is trying to detox during the night.
13. About reading before bed or journaling. Just 6 minutes of reading is beneficial, and waking up in the night, its best not to leave the bedroom (that depends on if you have a partner or not), and if you can continue reading a spiritual book, non fiction, uplifting. Detach from social media and mass media aka news at least 1 hour before going to bed. If that is difficult, a deeper dive is needed. A worry journal is that, writing your worries down before sleeping, and blessing them to be transformed. They are energies. Disconnect from everything except that which is truly full of love and important to you.
14. Before you sleep, speak out in whispers or out loud your gratitude moments for your day, and your I AM. Example, I am grateful I am able to write this post from my heart. I am grateful for the people that I choose to be in my life, my work, and faith. I am grateful for living on this beautiful planet and get to see the moon, stars, the sun as well.
‘Live life out loud every day, and love unconditionally…and put your worries, sorrows, the past, away. Let the earth know you love her and let the sun know you love him, and send the vibes out to the Milky Way.’ cherie