I have been a sound sleeper for almost 29 years of my life. 10 pm and I would be fast asleep with my mobile switched off and no interruptions whatsoever till I woke up in the morning. I had such a loving relationship with my sleep that my friends and family used to joke that nothing can wake me up from my sleep, so I am the best target for robbers.
But then something changed. I left my job and moved to a new country to become a homemaker. Ever since then, my sleep has eluded me. Initially I thought, it might be because of my slack staying at home routine. But even on days when I used to be dead tired, sleep never materialized. I used to toss and turn for 2 hours until I finally fell asleep.
Later I would come to know that my spiritual awakening had begun and thus the drastic change in my sleeping pattern. If you are someone who is spiritually awakened, you will know what I am speaking about. I used to wake up fresh in the mornings even though I didn’t sleep early as before. The need of sleeping hours had reduced for me. But I missed the incredible feeling of getting in bed and falling asleep right away. The tossing and turning was not something I really looked forward to doing.
Sleep still eludes me to an extent, but here are some rituals which have helped me tremendously to get better sleep –
Saying Thank You before Sleeping
On many days, we go to bed with a lot of things happening in our minds. We think about the deadlines at work, the upcoming kids’ programs, tons of items on our to do lists for tomorrow, so on and so forth. Over the years, I have realized the importance of sleeping with a peaceful mind. Our bodies react to our emotions while sleeping. Now imagine those 7-8 hours, our body muddling in stress, overwhelmed with tomorrow’s to do list or the anger from a fight. How will you feel when you wake up in this scenario? Groggy for sure. To overcome this, the moment you get into bed take out 5 minutes to remember all the blessings in your life and say a Thank You! Let your body be immersed in this feel good gratitude bubble and see how you wake up in the mornings!
No Gadgets for 2 Hours before Sleep
Yes, I know it is difficult to be off our televisions, laptops and mobiles for 2 hours before sleep. But if you really want to sleep well, this is necessary. It is a proven fact now that the light from these gadgets confuses our brain from distinguishing between the day and the night. The gadgets also keep our mind active and it doesn’t go into a sleep mode even though it is night. Result being it takes a long while before we actually fall asleep. Try to stay away from gadgets in the evenings for a good night’s sleep.
Not Changing your Sleep Routines drastically
We read something on the internet, get inspired and then get to work to change our sleep routines. We usually sleep post midnight and get up at 9 am, but we now want to sleep by 10 pm and get up by 6 am. We start our sleep routine transformation enthusiastically and do it for maybe 3 days. Post 3 days, all of it collapses and we are back to our older sleep routine. Why does this happen? Making such drastic changes in our sleep routine isn’t sustainable. So how can we change our sleep routine then? Take it slow. Start with sleeping 5 minutes earlier and getting up 5 minutes earlier. Do this for 2 weeks. Once you feel good with this pattern, slide the time further by 5 minutes and continue this pattern for 2 more weeks. Likewise do this exercise till you reach your ideal sleep routine. This will help you stick to your sleep routine and keep it sustainable too.
Some More Easy Tips –
- Try to keep your bedroom as dark as possible. Put on black blinders if you want, but dark rooms are a key to good night’s sleep. Any kind of light is a big no no while you sleep.
- If you are a snooze person, keep your mobile a little away from your bed so that you have to get out of bed to snooze. This will ensure you don’t laze around in bed and get started with the day.
- Eat at least 2 hours before sleep and keep it light. Avoid sugar and caffeine during dinner.
- Warm turmeric almond milk before sleep helps to get better sleep. A friend recommended this to me.
- Making bedrooms gadget free also goes a long way.
- Meditating before sleeping helps to calm the nervous system. It can be a short 2 minute meditation where you just focus on your breath.
- Don’t compare your sleep pattern with someone else. Every body is different, try and see what works best for you. There is no thumb rule application here.
These are some of the rituals which have helped me in my sleep conquest. Sleep is an important part of our life and the earlier we realize this the better it is for us!
How is your relationship with sleep?