by Carol Lucia Lopez, CHt, PSYCH-K Facilitator, BQH Practitioner
Sleep. We know it’s vital to our existence, yet it often feels so elusive.
Most of us know exactly how much sleep we need to function well — typically between seven to eight hours. As we age, it seems to become more difficult. Today’s busy lifestyles also contribute to no small amount of feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
The demands we place on ourselves sometimes result in staying up too late to finish tasks or projects. This can snowball into either restless sleep and/ or waking up at 2 or 3 a.m. thinking about some detail that is unresolved
or forgotten. Worrying about it and knowing you’ll be fatigued the next day compounds the problem.
Even without self-imposed stress, life in general is more complicated right now. Following are some night-time solutions that have worked for me:
Prioritize your list of things to do with short-term and long-term tasks, breaking down the long-term tasks into doable short-term actions.
Make a gratitude list, including listing the things you did that day that pleased you and things you could do differently.
Journal about difficult situations, feelings and emotions to provide insight and clarity.
Diffuse essential oils such as lavender or peace and calming oils; put a few drops on your hands and inhale three times, then rub on the back of your neck.
Try Bach’s Rescue Remedy or other flower essences. Bach’s Pastilles are a convenient aid.
Take an Epsom salt bath using calming essential oils.
Eat a couple of ounces of protein (cheese, a hard-boiled egg or other protein) when you wake up in the wee hours of the night to off-set blood sugar. (You may want to check with your health care practitioner first).
Listen to a white noise machine and/or Solfeggio frequency sleep meditations.
Take three long, deep inhalations and exhalations.
Avoid news or anything stimulating prior to bedtime.
Sleep in a cool, but not cold bedroom, with an air purifier.
Listen to a hypnosis sleep/relaxation recording.
Finally, mindfulness is key.
The thoughts we think and the words we speak are so much more important than we realize. If we keep telling ourselves and others, “I can’t sleep,” “I have insomnia” or another similar phrase, then guess what? We are literally programming our brains to do just that.
Replace those thoughts and words with: “I easily fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling restored and reinvigorated.”