My grandma used to say that “a good day starts the night before”. I took that advice to heart and it changed my life.
Here’s an idea: What if we started our day at 10pm? What if we decided that we start our morning routine by sleeping for a full 8hours? And if that was our non-negotiable primary morning ritual?
We’ve all heard of the value of a good night’s sleep and sleeping patterns vary from human to human, but you get the idea. Start your day from the night before. For me that was a small shift in my mindset that sky rocked my productivity.
I’ve been a dealing with insomnia and severe migraines for years. Sleepless nights followed by dreadful mornings when I had to drag my body while over-dosing on caffeine to keep me going.
It was a pattern for years. Luckily not any more. Experimenting with different rituals before bed was something I had to do to avoid medication and have a quality, restful night’s sleep.
Not that I have anything against medication, you should always consult a Medical Doctor before making any decisions on that. What I am suggesting is that we can find other ways to naturally assist us to sleep.
Do you know what Aphrodite, Maria Kalas and Arianna Huffington have in common? They all have been fans of pre-bedtime rituals. And yes, they are all of Greek descent.
After many years of trial and error, I’ve found the one’s that work best for me and hopefully they will work for you too.
Did you have an intense workout at the gym? Or maybe you weren’t able to express yourself in an argument. Perhaps you are dealing with stress, tension or some old childhood wounds. In any case, I have found that the Tension, Stress and Trauma Release exercises to be the ultimate way to prepare my body and mind for a restful sleep. It is a set of poses you do that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. The exercises safely activate a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension, calming down the nervous system. When this muscular shaking/vibrating mechanism is activated, the body is encouraged to return back to a state of balance. Every time I finish a set of TRE I feel a blissful sensation of calm all over my body and my mind quiets down. You can find many videos on YouTube and if you want more information you can find it here: https://traumaprevention.com/what-is-tre/
I call it my home spa time. After the TRE set it’s exactly what I need. I fill the bathtub with hot water and throw in some Epsom salts along with lavender essential oil and sit there for a good 20 minutes. Sometimes I light some candles and put my spa music. But you guys, I have to admit I am not always in a spa mood so in that case I just take a shower and get a quick version of the whole thing by washing with a shower gel with Epsom salts and lavender. After that I mindfully massage my feet and slide under the covers.
This technique has never failed me. Breathing is a wonderful way to connect to your body and empty your mind. Are you anxious for the following day? Or you are thinking of what went wrong the day that just passed? Give your monkey mind a task. Inhale for a count of 5, hold for 1, exhale for a count of 5 and repeat. I blissfully fall asleep after a while. But if you are like me, and like to mix it up from time to time, then I have another breathing technique for you. I call it the divers breathing technique because it feels like I am taking a breath to dive under water. You can practice it to help you reach this deep sleep state where your brain recharges and refuels itself. It goes as follows: Inhale for a count of 10, hold for 20, exhale for 10 and repeat until you are ready to surrender to the hands of Morpheus.
4. Bedtime story
As a hypnotherapist I often have clients come to me in search for an insomnia cure. This is one of the first suggestions I make. Bedtime stories. It worked when we were children, right? So why not now? After all, connecting with your inner child in a playful way will keep you young. A bedtime story can be anything that you can read for pleasure: absolutely no work-related books and no e-books are allowed here. Y’ all know about the effects of the light coming from your screen to your brain before bed. But there is one exception: you are allowed to use your phone if you want to listen to an audio book. I use the app Calm which has a section for bedtime stories for adults that I really enjoy listening before bed.
5. Mental review and rehearse but keep it light
Review all the good stuff that happened during the day. What worked, what made you laugh, what gave you joy. I like to keep it positive for a reason. You don’t want to start ruminating, over and over again what upset you during the day, you won’t be able to sleep. Visualize how you want your day to go, what do you want to hear, feel, see and experience to make your day a good day for you. Start by thinking of 3 things that can make your day great, and as you get used to that practice you will feel more comfortable night-dreaming your ideal day. Falling asleep with positive images and feelings is the best gift for your mental wellbeing.
Sleeping patterns, nighttime habits and preferences can be as unique as you are. What works for some people, might not work as well for others.
For what’s worth, play a little and experiment to find what works best for you. Try some of my suggestions or make your own nighttime rituals.
I know you know it’s worth it. After all it’s not just for your productivity, it’s about your overall wellbeing.
Chrisa T.S is a hypnotherapist who loves to guide and witness your transformation. Watch her Tedx Talk Here to get a huge dose of inspiration and mega amounts of confidence. Join her and find your true purpose in life. Start Here. Find her at her free Facebook Group Here