When we’re young, there’s stuffed animals, someone to tuck us in, books to be read, perhaps a soothing song to be sung or played, and a hyponotizing mobile above our head to slowly and calmly rock us to sleep. As we get older, late night studying or socializing occupy the moments right up until our head hits the pillow. Then, it’s work email, facebook, and television and whatever else we can do on a computer that seems to enchant our senses in the evening hours. For adults late night drinks, smoking or eating may also be a regular activity before bed.
So why do we wake 3 hours later, or have trouble falling asleep? Why do we toss and turn, or feel we just can’t shut our minds off when the world becomes quiet? And finally, why do we feel groggy or anxious in the morning, like we just need one more hour of sleep, or even as if we never rested?
Well, it’s simple really. Our nervous system is like a wind up toy. Except once it gets wound up, and wound up and continuously wound, it cannot shut off. Thus, the feeling of jitteriness, anxiety, racing mind, twitching limbs, and general uncomfortableness that cause poor sleep is a normal and very common response to a hyper-alert sympathetic nervous system.
Our work, social interaction, family, and all our duties in life demand a lot of mental and physical energy. Sleep is the main way to regenerate cells, heal muscles, make new blood, and create new energy to continue to deliver the high demand we put on our daily selves.
The following steps will surely allow you to feel more relaxed, settled and sleepy at bedtime, helping you to sleep deeper and feel more rested and energized in the morning.
1. Turn off computer,TV, and phone at least 30 mins before bedtime.
2. Stop drinking, eating and smoking at least 2 hours before bedtime. (of course sipping water is allowed)
3. Dim the lights in your home..
4. Light a candle in your room.
5. Clean, organize and tidy your home.
6. Take your time to Wash and Brush your teeth, starting to deepen your breathe. Make sure your jaw is relaxed.
7. Lay down flat on your back on the floor, Stretch your arms above your head and stretch out through your toes.
8. Pull one knee in toward your chest and pull it across your body, into a twist. Repeat on both sides.
9. Breathe deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Creating audible sound through your mouth, “Ahhhhh”. Feel how it feels to be in your body, and continue with 10 deep belly breathes, channeling the breathe to areas that feel tight and restricted. Breathe in peace and calm, and breathe out that from your day that your no longer need. Let go. ( It may take you longer than 10 breathes, feel your own experience and consciously let yourself breathe until you feel that you can let go of the day )
11. Slowly move to your feet in a forward fold. ( Make sure your neck is completely relaxed by putting your chin to your chest )
12. Slowly roll up to standing, feeling your shoulders drop, and your whole body begin to ground and feel heavy.
Walk to bed, blow out your candle, and place your head on the pillow.