A Lifestyle Lesson for Good Sleep
Despite what contemporary science has tried to do, we still don’t know - for sure - what sleep does and how it works. What we do know is that it’s so important that sleep deprivation is an actual form of torture.
Even though sleep should be a birthright, many of us struggle with getting good sleep. It’s very possible that many of today’s problems would be solved if we all just got a little better shut eye.
To increase the quality of your sleep, try these three lifestyle changes.
SEE: Notice the quality and quantity of your sleep.
This may sound simple, but the act of tracking how much and how well we sleep can be a powerful beginning to getting better sleep. Because it’s not just how much sleep we get, but also when we sleep, how long it takes to fall asleep, how we dream, when we wake, how much we toss and turn, and how rested we feel when the night is over.
Begin tracking these aspects of sleep so that you can assess which parts need the most love. After all, it might not be that you’re not getting enough sleep, but instead that you’re not getting good enough sleep.
STOP: Stop sacrificing sleep.
It’s easy to stay up a little later or get up a little earlier and justify it as gained time for our to-do list. But sleep is the single most important investment we make for ourselves.
And no one else can do it for us.
Sleeping cleans the waste in our brain, increasing our mental and physical capacity for the next day. Dreaming allows us to work on emotional and relational themes we might be working on at the time. And lying down horizontally gives our nervous system and opportunity to reset.
Staying awake to do work or to watch something streaming is sacrificing critical life-affirming time you could be sleeping. Set boundaries around your sleep and stop sacrificing it for anything else as much as you can.
START: Set yourself up for success.
There are a few things you can do to set yourself up for sleep success.
First, before you lie down, write out your to-do list for the next day and free write for a few minutes. Just write whatever comes to you. Empty your brain of what you’d normally worry about once the lights go out.
Next, list three things you’re grateful for. More is better. Focusing on what makes you feel grateful shifts your body into a state of abundance, which creates safety in your nervous system. Your body is more likely to sleep when it feels safe.
Finally, before you close your eyes, say out loud anything you might be needing from the universe. Like, “I need the answer to…” or “I need you to bring me…”
This will help you surrender any final worries so you can relax. When you wake up, pay attention to whatever thoughts you have. They are your answer.
Finally, if you have insomnia, chances are you either need to cry or you need to take care of the thing you’re ruminating about. It’s better to get out of bed at that time rather than to try and force your body to do what it clearly doesn’t want to do.
MAGIC MANTRA: My day is complete. It’s time for sleep.