Deepak Chopra says that “sleep is a return to the soul.” Emotions and experiences are processed in the dream state. Restoration occurs in deep sleep when we are not dreaming.
My observation is that the more complexity we have created in our world, the more of us there are that have sleep-deprivation issues. We are affected on so many levels by the lack of adequate sleep that it is vitally necessary that each of us discover healthy ways to establish better sleep patterns.
Hatha yoga practiced in the yin (quiet & receptive) style calms the body and the mind in preparation for meditation. Meditation calms the body and mind even more, helping us to know the peace of our own Soul and encouraging us to abide there rather than in the complexity and drama of life. These practices can enhance and nurture healthy sleep patterns.
How we eat affects the quality of our sleep. Some foods rev the body up and are helpful early in the day. Others calm the body and even make us sleepy. Awareness of how different foods affect you can be a powerful tool in self-care.
Exercise is also key. A friend of mine quotes one of her teachers every time this topic of poor sleep comes up. His answer? “If you aren’t sleeping enough, you just aren’t tired enough!” For me, vigorous exercise is most beneficial before 5pm. After that, activity needs to be about releasing high energy rather than generating….so, yoga or a quiet stroll between dinner and bedtime.
Family and friends affect us as well. Some people bring us love and laughter and a sense of well-being. Others tend to sap our energy and drag us down. Monitoring how much time spent with different people can help us make choices that benefit us, even in how well we sleep. It may be necessary to limit the amount of time spent with needy loved ones and when during the day we are with them. Our personal need for healthy, restorative rest and sleep must be a priority. If I am not at my best, what I have to share with others is compromised.
It all comes down to caring about myself and taking care of myself so that I can share my love and gifts with others. I deserve the best I have to give! As always, it begins with me.
Namaste and may your day unfold in gratitude and grace.