Are you tired and worried when you get up only to struggle through the day with low energy? Do you wish you had a good night’s sleep and wake up completely refreshed? If you’ve ever had sleep issues, keep reading.
According to the Sleep Foundation, almost half the Americans say they feel sleepy during the day between three and seven days per week. 35% of all adults in the US report sleep on average for less than seven hours per night.
Sleepadvisor.com reports that since 1942, the average hours per night has decreased by 13%. And 50 to 70 million people in the US suffer from one or several sleep disorders.
Some symptoms of Insomnia include:
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up during the night
- Waking up too early
- Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Irritability, depression or anxiety
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
- Increased errors or accidents
- Ongoing worries about sleep
Without a good night’s rest, your body and mind don’t rejuvenate effectively and can lead to premature mental and physical aging. Your immune system becomes compromised and over time your personality starts degrading. Eventually you become short-tempered, low energy and can’t participate fully in life.
What’s causing these sleep issues
There are a variety of reasons for sleep issues. Some common ones include:
- Stress. Changes in your mental state due to issues at work, school, home, finances, health or family often lead to excessive thoughts and constant inner chatter. Major stressful life events can also alter your mental state significantly. Trauma, PTSD are extreme cases of this stress.
- Diet. Coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks stimulate your body and prevent you from falling asleep and getting restful sleep. Nicotine is also another stimulant that keeps you awake. Alcohol may help your become drowsy but your body is constantly fighting all night to keep you in the sleep state.
- Lifestyle choices. Irregular bedtime schedule, electronic simulations, TV, video games, smartphones and other screens can adversely affect your ability to fall into restful sleep.
- Work Schedules. Changes in your work shifts, especially those who work alternating shifts without sufficient rest, can affect your circadian rhythm (internal clock). Travel between time zones can cause jet-lag that also affects your natural circadian rhythm.
- Medications and Sleep Disorders. Certain prescription medications can disrupt your sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea (usually shows up as with the symptom of excessive snoring and tiredness the next day) requires immediate medical attention.
Debugging your insomnia
As a baby or a child, you were never taught how to sleep. You just did. So what happened between the early ages and now? To get the same restful sleep that you had when you were younger, we must first understand who you are right now. That understanding will help you refine what you need to do to restore your original state.
As you got older, your physical body’s needs increase and your capacity to do more in the outside world has increased. Your lifestyle changed to fit societal needs and expectations including those of your career, work, family etc. Your body’s basic needs are very often not met. You eat at odd times, consume very little water and start neglecting the various nutrients your body needs to handle the workload that you are putting on it. The sheer lack of time to fully exercise every part of your body is often not available and you settle for quick workouts.
The constant challenges of the outside world and the instant gratification of digital devices, leads to non-stop fidgeting between tasks and lack of centeredness. When you are ready to go to bed, your mind is still racing, waiting for the next bit of dopamine or serotonin that it has been addicted to during the day. In addition, the hangover from the day’s events that still unsettled inside you as you try to sweep then “under the carpet”, hoping it will go away tomorrow or at least you won’t feel the heaviness of that impact when you wake up.
The 3 step system for good night sleep
Over the years of teaching and working with individuals, I’ve distilled the technique into 3 steps. Each step will address your body, mind and being and takes less time than to read this article.
The first step is the simple cognition that:
You wake up the same way you go to sleep. So if you go to sleep tired, you are going to wake up tired. If you go to bed happy, you will wake up happy.
This cognition forces you to go to bed when you are happy and partially awake. It should almost feel like your battery is down to 10% but not completely exhausted. Use your remaining energy for the next step.
Step 2: Empty your mind
Take a notepad and write down all the incomplete tasks you have in your head. This process forces your body to remember and release all the built-up to-do items that can be swimming in your mind all through the night.
Tell yourself that you have reached the end of the day and that there is nothing more you can do right now and you need to rest so that you will have intelligence and energy to do more spectacularly tomorrow. You have done all that you can and now it is time for you to settle down. You will notice that your mind will be completely settled. Take a deep breath now and relax your entire body. Smile and move to the next step.
Step 3: Offer gratitude
Now that you have cleared out your head, it’s time to rest at the being level. You do this by simply remembering the day and offering gratitude. Say thanks to everything and everyone that contributed positively to your life. Close your eyes, remember them and say thanks, either in your mind or verbally. Remember what you have, even the most basic things such as food, shelter, your body, family, friends, air to breath, water to drink etc.
Today’s fulfillment brings more fulfillment tomorrow
This simple yet powerful process awakens the healing energy in you and prepares your body and mind to enter a deep restful sleep. Let the feeling of gratitude overwhelm you. Shed some tears of joy, smile, and know that while you sleep the cosmos will plan your life for you tomorrow. Trust in that cognition. You will enter into a graceful space and drop into the deep sleep zone very quickly. When you wake up the next day, again be grateful for waking up in the same body so that you can continue to experience this beautiful reality with new energy, new intelligence and new love.
Updating your inner software
These 3 simple steps work on your mind, body and being. No matter how stressed you are, it is a rapid deceleration process to allow you to get back to your childlike sleep state.
Do this everyday for just 3 days and you will start seeing an increase in your quality of sleep. Your energy level will start increasing and you can now participate in physical activity. Pick your favorite game: basketball, football, cricket, soccer. Any game that has social interaction and moves your body is a good start. Complement it with yoga and stretching.
Let us know in the comments what you found useful.
If you are interested in learning more about the Yogic Sleep Technique, TrueIntention and TrueGratitude, the 2 techniques that helps you achieve the ultimate space of Oneness, contact us to find out about upcoming workshops.