If you are reading this, then it’s likely that your sleep isn’t great. Maybe you are lying awake for a long time before sleep happens or waking up randomly and struggling to get back to sleep.
Lack of sleep not only leaves you feeling unrested but it can also impair your immunity as the body produces fewer cytokines which target infection and inflammation.
You want to be falling asleep feeling good about the day that is ending, ready for rest and enjoying that lovely feeling of being tucked up in bed. Then waking refreshed, feeling healthful, calm and ready to enjoy another day with clarity confidence. Sound good?
Is it both good and achievable. The key is to begin and end your day well. This meditation will help your brain and body know that it is time for rest. Please read the whole post to get the most out of the process and the meditation.
Most people struggle to sleep because their mind is whirring and they can’t “switch off”. Closing your day well is the difference between closing the lid on your lap top with files and tabs open or saving and closing everything in the right files then shutting down and putting it away. One is infinitely more peaceful. You don’t repeatedly close the lid with programmes still running and expect the machine to keep functioning well but many of us approach sleep that way.
Work tasks, social messages, news, social media content… if you keep operating in a highly busy mental state right up till bedtime then your brain is in a “wired” state. No wonder it’s still whirring while you lie there demanding sleep, which then causes other thought loops to start running. If anxiety is keeping your mind busy then there’s more on the topic here.
Close your day well. I suggest this happens in two stages. First at the end of your work day. Note down the things you have done and highlight things you are proud of, or pleased with. Highlight somewhere that you made a positive contribution (this can be outside of day job) and highlight something you are grateful for. Note any priorities for when you are next working and schedule when you will tend to them. This process draws a line between work and personal time. It builds confidence as you reflect on what you have accomplished rather than only focusing on what is left to do which causes stress. There is always more to do but you have attended to the work by scheduling the next priority. The work is done for the day and now you can focus on you and what you love outside of work.
The second stage is just before you lie down for sleep. Jot down the highlights of your day, what made you smile, what are you proud of and 3-5 things that you are grateful for. If there is anything on your mind that you need to do then schedule time for it – or the first step of it at least.
They might seem simple but these processes will teach you a lot about how you are spending your days, help you boost your mood with gratitude, connect to the good stuff in your life and encourage you take action around anything that is needed.
In terms of your sleep they allow your mind to slow down and switch off. You don’t need to be on high alert looking for the next task to complete. You mind can be assured that it’s taken care of and now is time to rest.
It’s a virtuous cycle and it means that when you wake you are clear on what needs to be done that day and when you’ll do it., leaving you to have a good stretch and enjoy your morning.