Homagi Mindful May Series: How We Go To Sleep & Wake Up Matters
"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment." - Jim Rohn
We are now into our third week of Homagi Mindful May and so far we’ve learned about the importance of how we wake up and the importance of being comfortable with our own progression through a meditation practice. The biggest step is starting, once you start the next step is consistency which is going on even when you feel it’s not working or you’re not “getting it”.
If you missed the pointers on the importance of how we wake up you can find them in the blog I did week one. I wanted to focus on how we go to sleep this week because it’s just as important if not more because without a quality of sleep waking up is hard and making it through our day is even harder. I was surprised when my doctor told me Green Tea had caffeine in it…I was like, “I’ve been thinking I was making better choices now what do I do for a pick me up?”
What’s most surprising about getting a good nights sleep is how early in the day we have to start in order to get to that nights sweet slumber. As early as lunch time is what my doctor told me. He suggested that I be mindful of what I eat for lunch and have to drink. He also told me to have my heaviest meal of the day at lunch time, and a light dinner.
Other key steps for me getting the energy boost I needed to get through my day and ultimately a good nights sleep were a nap at lunch time, 30 minutes is what I used of a 60 minute lunch break and sublingual B12. I also used comforting tools like a plush faux fur mini rug underneath my desk I could run bare feet over. Listening to binaural beats or nature sounds as I worked.
Getting off work can be relieving but can also leave us feeling a bit tensed knowing we have traffic to still weed our way through on the way home. I kept a special pair of slippers or Isotoners in the car that were only for my ride home as well as a cool or warm drink depending on the weather and I’d cue up the right music or nature sounds to start immediately as I turned on the ignition. If my day was really stressful I take a trip by the beach for a walk or just to sit by the shore. We all have something that causes us great joy and brings us peace, whatever yours is do that.
Here are a few pointers on how to get the best of out our sleep:
Stop all stimulants by lunch time, meaning that coke or red bull may have long term affects on you that evening.
Decompress at the end of your day, that may mean listening to inspirational audio books, nature sounds, classical music, binaural beats, or wind chimes whatever works for you.
Our body’s temperature drops as we prepare for sleep so 2 hours before you go to sleep drop the temperature in your house or bedroom to 68 degrees, it not only helps you to get to sleep but helps you to stay sleep.
A hot Epsom salt bath with lavender essential oil can help to relax the body and soothe sore muscles.
Sleep with your room in complete darkness. For some people that is difficult as they find comfort in some light shining in, but if you can sleep in darkness it’s more natural.
Sleep in the “buff” or in the least amount of clothing. If you are more comfortable in clothing try to find cotton clothing that is the least restrictive.
Bed linen matters have you ever wondered why you get so much sleep when you’re at a nice hotel? It’s the bed and the linen. Cotton sheets allow air to circulate and the softer the better. Thread count matters but you must decide how much, so going into the store and touching and feeling what makes you comfortable is a good way to decide. Flannel sheets for the winter may help bring comfort rather than thin cotton sheets. Keeping in mind the more natural the fiber the more comfort you get.
Rubbing lavender essential oil on your hands, feet, temples, wrist, and pillow can help to relax you as well. Other essential oils good for sleep are, Chamomile, Marjoram, Valerian, and Vetiver,
Prayer and meditation before bed can help to relax you as well.
A glass of water and an apple helps the body to filter toxins and fat out of our blood and an apple provides vitamin C, B6 and potassium as well as increase serotonin the chemical that induces sleep. Apples also regulates blood sugar. I didn’t know the real benefits of apples before bed, I’d only heard Jim Rohn say his grandfather had an apple every night before bed and he lived a long time so I added it to my regime. Finding out the true benefit years later made it all come together.
Get into be the same time every night. According to Sleepfoundation.org adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep so whatever your schedule for your evening is it should include winding down in time enough to get a full quality nights rest.
Use an alarm that is a gradual increase in sound but not sound that is too harsh. Sample and try out a few different alarms. If you are using your phone there are free apps for alarms in the app store.
Before getting out of bed stretch, wiggle your fingers and toes and rotate your wrists and ankles.
Sit up and on the edge of the bed before just jumping up and rushing out of bed.
Drink and 8 ounce glass of water you can keep next to your bed. Studies have shown serious benefits to drinking water in the morning after rising from sleep. First of all it helps with the creation of “new blood” which is the source of our body sending nutrients and replenishments to all of our muscles and organs. Next water being a purifier cleanses the body of cancer causing agents, helps with arthritis, kidney issues and headaches. One study said it reduces the chances of heart attack drinking water before and after waking up.
Light a candle next to your bed for a gradual introduction of light or use a lamp or light with a mood switch that allows you to introduce light slowly.
Prayer & Meditation
Eating a good breakfast
Once we know the answers we can get the best out of the most important part of our lives, sleep and restoration. Taking care of our sleep life is part of our self care. If we have a good quality of sleep we have a better quality of health and therefore a better quality of life because we feel better.