Sweet sleep means sweet life.

What are your top 3 pleasures in life?

I say eating, having sex, and SLEEPING.

I heard people say that sleep is a waste of time because they feel they can’t do all the things they want during the waking hours. I don’t agree with this vision—I see sleep as a long embrace that I’m looking forward to having at the end of a tiring and stressful day.

If you want to make of sleep a powerful tool to face your everyday life, here are a couple of things to consider:

  1. Your bedroom should be an inviting place: clean, tidy and calming. It should be the place where you feel yourself one hundred percent—so make it your favorite spot in the house, add a plant to get a good dose of oxygen and place photos of the people you love on the night stand.
  2. Don’t watch TV in the bedroom. If you are in a relationship, it can kill desire and depending on what you watch, it can also trigger anxiety.
  3. Read a good fiction book that can stimulate your fantasy or a non-fiction book that can help you appreciate life or discover its mysteries. I can suggest “Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse, “Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss, “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson, and “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama.
  4. If you can’t fall asleep meditation can help. One good practice to release stress is an easy exercise that you can do while sitting in bed. Close your eyes, raise your arms high stretching the muscles while inhaling, then exhale lowering them at chest height making a fist with your hands (like if you were lifting weights). Repeat 10 times and let your breath get loud, then sit still for a couple of minutes—your heart rate will decelerate and you will feel ready for bed.
  5. Pay attention to your dreams. Freud wrote “The Interpretation of Dreams,” probably the most comprehensive study of the theory of the unconscious with respect to dream interpretation. It’s a long and complex work—you don’t have to read it all, but be aware that your dreams can have a deep meaning and help you interpret what is going in your life. Just to have an idea of the most common symbols in dreams you can read “14 Common Dreams and Symbols and Why They’re Important,” an article by DreamsCloud.
  6. Last but not least, learn to listen to your body. If you are tired or stressed it will send you signals and will ask you to rest and sleep more. There is nothing wrong with sleeping in if you need. Don’t feel guilty!

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Italians love sleeping in—we also have a saying about the month of April: “Aprile, Dolce Dormire” (April, Sweet Sleep).

Originally published at medium.com