Insomnia is a common sleeping disorder that’s affecting about one-third of the adult population worldwide. Insomnia is more common in women, but quality of sleep often decreases equally in both men and woman as we age.
There are a variety of factors which contribute to having insomnia: stress, medication, temperature fluctuations, environmental noise or changes, and hormones, are just a few. Anxiety and Depression along with other emotional imbalances can prevent sleep just as much as chronic pain.
Lifestyle habits affect insomnia greatly – studies have shown that alcohol and caffeine intake and smoking cigarettes before bedtime disrupts sleep, just as much as napping too long and too late in the day.
As a “HSP”, many evenings I am over stimulated and suffer from mind chatter. So, needless to say, I have done my share of experimenting with natural and non natural sleeping aids. I have listed a few that have give me relief for those nights when counting sheep,–Just doesn’t work!!
1.Establish a consistent bedtime routine. A walk or warm bath before bed
practice meditation/relaxation exercises as part of your regular nighttime routine.
2. Go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time each morning. This includes weekends.
3. Exercise during the day. The more energy you expend during the day (preferable earlier in the day) the sleepier you will feel at bedtime.
4. Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol during the day, and cut it out in the evening.
5. Do not eat large meals late in the day (6:30 last meal).
6. Use a relaxation technique regularly. Breathing exercises, meditation and yoga are good examples.
7.Don’t obsess about not sleeping.
8. Spend time outdoors as often as you can.
9. The two best natural sleep aid treatments are valerian and melatonin. Valerian is a sedative herb. Take one to two capsules a half hour before bedtime. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the wake/sleep cycle and other daily biorhythms.
10. Avoid heavy carbohydrates midday. Midday meals with lots of carbs can make you sleepy. Make sure your lunch has a balance of carbs and protein.
11. Stay away from refined and processed foods. They cause sugar highs and lows.
12. Practice daily breathing exercises, and the relaxing breath when falling asleep.
13.BREATH TRACKING: 6 Breaths Per Minute
By changing our breath we can affect our heart, our brain, and essentially every cell in our body through improved oxygenation. Deep breathing helps take us out of a “fight or flight” into a calmer “rest and digest” state. Allowing the body to relax.
Some Spiritual Techniques to help combat insomnia are:
The Psychic Chord of light
This exercise is designed to create an anchor from your mind down into the Earth. This is particularly helpful for those of us who suffer from mind chatter.
Breathe slow and easy, envision a cord extending down from your spine. Allow this cord to extend down from the base of your tailbone and travel down through whatever building you may be in, through the foundation, and down into the ground.In whatever way seems best to you, allow your cord to become anchored to the center of the Earth. Once you are really rooted to the Earth, imagine light or energy coming up from the center of the Earth, flowing up your cord and filling your body with its energy and vitality. Allow this flow of light/energy to continue for as long as you like.
This technique can be used to help alleviate body tension and general anxiety. While you can do this exercise sitting, it works better lying down. Try doing this technique right before bed.
After grounding bring your awareness to your feet. Notice the weight of them. Are there any places that you are holding tension? What are the sensations of this area? Now imagine they begin to feel heavy. Imagining them sinking and disappearing. Now bring your awareness to your legs. Briefly note the sensations here and then proceed to imagine them becoming sinking and disappearing. Continue to use this process on the rest of your body, going to the thighs, the pelvis, the belly, the chest, your shoulders and arms, ending with your neck and head. Spend more time on parts of the body where you hold the most tension. To recognize muscle tension and achieve greater relaxation, you might try briefly flexing or clenching your muscles before relaxing muscles. To relax your neck, face, and jaw muscles, try yawning.
Psychic Protection Exercise
For those times when we face challenging situations or difficult people, this tool can help us to feel protected. Imagine a big golden container above your head. Inside the container holds a glowing golden liquid. Imagine the container tipping so the golden liquid slowly spills over the edge and begins to cover you. It starts at the crown of your head and begins enveloping your entire body. The golden liquid keeps pouring until there are no gaps, even wrapping around the bottom of your feet. This liquid is light as a feather but strong as steel. As you breathe in this space of golden protection, state -“l am safe in my body and able to freely express myself.” Or, create an affirmation specific to the challenge you are facing
Find what meditation techniques work best for you. Bring yourself into the present (refocus your thoughts out of the past or the future into the now). Try to focus on positive thought rather than negative. Have gratitude for what is working in your life rather than what you feel isn’t. If your mind wanders while meditating, don’t stress, just refocus and keep meditating.
Having a good nights sleep is essential for good health and overall wellness. Learning to train the nervous system and use other Holistic and Spiritual modalities to improve sleep is not only cost effective, but there are no side affects.