By Keri Nola, MA, LMHC
The bad news is millions of people struggle to get a restful sleep each night. If you’re one of them, you know the tremendous effect this can have on your mental, emotional and physical functioning throughout the day. The good news is the majority of factors influencing quality sleep are within your realm of control. Any symptom you have (including difficulty sleeping) is a powerful communicator, trying to get your attention about something. If you’re willing to listen, you can be empowered to make small shifts that can make a significant impact in the experience of your sleep time.
Here are 4 things you must know to empower yourself to have a better night’s rest.
1. Sleep preparation begins the moment you wake up. Be mindful of your choices throughout the day that welcome peace, calm and relaxation to avoid being so overwhelmed at bed time that it keeps you from being able to fall asleep swiftly and easily. Eat well balanced meals that resonate with you, meditate, spend time with people you enjoy, breathe, get some movement, and get out in nature. These are just a few ideas that can help you prepare for restful slumber.
2. Ask yourself questions. Exploring the metaphors present in sleep difficulty can be a powerful way to provide you with insight about the various ways your body may be communicating with you. Consider asking yourself: What does my body want me to be more awake to in my life? Do I have unresolved issues from the day or from my past that are asking for my attention?
3. Create a sacred sleep space. The physical environment in which you sleep holds the energy of all the items you choose to have present and how you have things organized. When you walk into your sleep space, do you feel held, comforted, relaxed? If not, consider making some small changes that can invite big change in your emotional reaction. What colors, images, scents, textures and/or temperatures relax you? How can you bring some of those into your bedroom to support your sleep?
4. Establish a bedtime ritual. Developing a bedtime ritual that helps your mind, body and soul prepare for rest can be a surprisingly helpful resource. Mindfully consider a combination of behaviors and activities that support your peaceful sleep. For example, choose a few things from this list: take a bath, drink a cup of herbal tea, turn the lights down, journal about your day, meditate, complete a progressive muscle relaxation, or share gratitude with your family members, friends, roommates.
Click HERE to grab your FREE Sacred Sleep Space Audio Meditation download.
Author of “A Year on Your Path to Growth: Daily Inspiration to Reconnect With Your Soul,” and “44 Holistic Tips for Peaceful Sleep,” Keri Nola is a highly regarded psychotherapist, and Founder of Path To Growth LLC, an integrative healing center based in Central Florida. She combines traditional and holistic techniques to create products and experiences that help people access their inner wisdom and create a healthy mind, body and spirit to live their most inspired lives. Her real life experience paired with her extensive education and work background makes her a compassionate, balanced, and sought-after professional in the areas of personal and spiritual growth and development. For more information, visit www.pathtogrowth.com; follow Keri on Twitter @PathtoGrowth; or on Facebook.