* This Sunday ! : Pelvic Peace and Power Workshop Sunday Nov. 16 th 1-5pm / Kellys Barn- North Boulder
Next Dance Series: Solstice Sacred Dance Series 5 weeks Tuesdays starts Nov. 18 7-9pm Joy in Motion
Next New Moon Dance and Ritual Circle: November 23 , Starhouse
Anyone not sleeping these days or perhaps for a long while now?
I have lived most of my life not in synch with the rest of the worlds sleep patterns and have tried everything. This is a mix of things that in the end really made a difference!
Well First of all always good to check in and answer for ...
- Is it Hormonal imbalance ( very common at certain parts of our cycles with the rise and fall of hormones to have a bout to insomnia. For me it is the surge of Estrogen that keeps me awake)
- Is it Seasonal - Is your body attuning to the time and season change? Yes our bodies need time to adjust.
- Are u under alot of stress. Even if you are loving your work - if you have imbalance with the work and down time it can still create stress on the body and mind.
- Are you just down right anxious about something? Anxiety can keep our body "reving " Like an engine of a car we keep running. It will use up all the gas but just keep running till it runs out. Anxiety will keep you up and then at some point you will make a crash landing. Anxiety can mask as energy and a false sense of not needing sleep, but only for so long.
- Are you getting enough sunlight- Our eyes and skin register sunlight and adjust melatonin in our bodies. Melatonin is on of the main ingredients for sleep. If we work inside all day and get out of work at dark we have no sun time. Make time for sun breaks at work. Go out side and open your eyes wide to drink in the sun and fresh air.
- Are you hungry - does your brain have enough nourishment to do all of its restoration and repair duties in carries out thought the night. If not, the body and become restless as if to send you the message... more food please. Eating before bed is tricky. No caffeine or sugar but pesto or greens. I store an ice cube tray of wild pesto I make in the fall - packed with minerals and eat that if I cant sleep. Warm milk, herbal tea. Toasted whole grain bread.
- Are you a creature of the night? Some of us do have different body rhythms or childhood patterns that can create a true alignment with the night. If this is the case, you have to make a choice around how this will work in your life. Will you sleep in, will you have late night cycles and early night cycle. Just being a Night Owl and still waking up early to meet the rest of the world in the routine work day will catch up with you and bite you in the ass. Trust me on this one!
Some of us have different relationships with the different energies of the cycle of a day, the month, the year. Since I was very young I loved the late night. creeping out of my bed to snuggle up with my father on the couch. He was watching TV but I just loved being there quietly soaking up the stillness and the loving hand on my back.
The day was so busy - so many words. I grew up becoming very fond of the night time quiet and the loving touch available at that time.
It became the time I could relax and focus to do art projects, write papers, get things done. Seemed I could focus better. My ADD ness would disappear. I was wide awake always enjoying the surge of meditative and creative energies available in the night.
Is some thing like this true for you ?
Or are you a get to bed early kind of gal, that all of a sudden cant sleep?
Or have to much to do, seems like the day is never over ?
Or are you so excited about life, you cant find the off button?
Whatever the case is - we need to get real honest with ourselves. Sleep is important for our brains and for body daily repair. Resting and being horizontal is essential, especially for our heart! So getting down to discovering our true nature, we learn what we want and need and can make a bed time plan from there.
This is what I mean. Just living with shoulds and trying to fit into the sleep box with out listening to what our body is trying to tell us can just add more anxiety to the mix. We have to listen and accept who we are and move from there. A YOGA MOMENT! LOVE AND BE WITH WHAT IS. :)
Here is how I have answered for how night owlness developed in my life and how I work with it.
Yes I am a creature of the night but I really love to wake up early and do my yoga, dance, prayers and start the day and join in with the momentum of life on earth.
Soooo around the FULL Moon vortex - I a lot a few days for my night creature side - I pull out my creative projects and instruments and look for some drum and dance events that honor that primal wild essence in me. So my Night Creature side has a place of honor in my life where she can really crank through some things and celebrate the night each month.
The rest of the month - I consider what season I am in and what seasonal needs my body has.
My body needs way more sleep at this time of year than in the full radiance of summer.
I decide what time range I need to get to bed at and about an hour before bed I begin my bedtime ritual that goes like this :
Bed Time Ritual :
- Turn off Computer and TV
- Engage only in body centered and crafty things or food prep.
- DISENGAGE THINKING MIND ! Go to the bathroom and put my feet under - HOT- COLD- HOT - COLD - HOT COLD . ( switching this up really helps bring the energy from the mind deep into the body. )
-IN THE WINTER - Get in bed and snuggle up with my Hot Water Bottle on my back or my belly or just near by.
- FOOT RUB - I mix coconut oil with some LAVENDER essential oil and rub my feet or do that with my partner.
- TOUCH - An amazing way to relax the nervous system and quiet the mind.
- SPEAK OUT LOUD- Suenos Con Los Angelitos ( Dream with the Angels) Invoke spiritual support and clarification with sleeping! This lets your body, your energy, your spirit and the spirits that interact with you know that you are setting a clear bedtime boundary!
IF I CANT SLEEP : (I am blessed to make my own schedule, so this works for me )
I will stay in bed and remind myself that staying horizontal is good for my heart and let my body know it can hang out here awake till we fall asleep as long as we are laying down.
I do not advise that you start reading or doing some logistical task,
unless your getting a "down load" In that case grab your journal and pen and empty it out onto the page ASAP and get back to mothering yourself back to sleep!
As I am laying there I do some deep breathing and neurosculting, some soft yogic chanting.
When I feel my body is ready to doze off I set my alarm for 7 hours. No matter what time I get to sleep on those nights I make sure I get 7 hours ( that is the number my body likes). Yes that means I have to forgo some of the early morning things I had planned and sometimes that really sucks. But I have come to realize sleep really has to be the priority for long term health.
NOTE: I have noticed that in between seasons like this shift into winter we are in - we are recalibrating to new time and light cycles. It can take a couple of weeks to adjust.
In winter our natural bio clock connects with the suns early decent to feel tired and ready for bed closer to sunset.
A most inconvenient time for busy Americans. This is worth mentioning because often, especially for night owls, if you miss that window of natural tiredness it can be hard to find your way back.
When we say no to our bodies natural tiredness the body will often respond with an energy mask to be a team player sort of speak. The body will find resources to stay awake.
Once that extra adrenaline kicks in, it can be experienced as a feeling of not being tired or laying there wide awake!
So My advice - attune with the season - review your life and natural disposition and create a personal bed time ritual. Try it on for a week, see how it feels. Nip and Tuck as you need. Being with our sleep is an on going process, just as life is. We change through the the life cycels, our chemistry our circumstances our jobs. All of these things impact how we sleep. I have learned in my life not to take sleep for granted. It is something I need to stay in relationship with and always be listening and adjusting to make it happen.
ASANAS THAT ARE FABULOUS FOR PREPARING FOR BED TO ADD INTO YOUR NIGHT TIME RITUAL:
- Shoulder Stand - promotes relaxation, quiets the mind with blood flow to the brain.
- Plow - relieves tension in neck and shoulders.
- Gentle full body reclining twist - release the spine and the day.
- Shivasana- full body surrender and relaxation... show me the way shivasana to surrendering the day, my mind my body!
Waking up tired and sleep deprived : Well unfortunately I have had a lot of experience with this and I have learned how to make it work for me. You need lots more water when you don't sleep well. And more food for your brain too. Super foods are a great way to nourish up on these days. I would suggest to AVOID COFFEE. When your body is this sleep deprived coffee can do a number on your adrenals. I know thats when we like our coffee - when we are tired.
On tired days you are less mental and more fluid and intuitive. So try to live from that place. If you try to be "ON " in the ways you are used to, you may find yourself snapping at people, hurting yourself with the disembodiedness that kicks in or getting really frustrated. Take lil cat naps ( but no too late) before lunch and go to bed at your optimal time.
Are you sleeping next to a person who is not good at clearing his/her energy field or has alot of anxiety or stress? If yes - add this to your ritual :
Ooo this was a major turning point in my life to realize the energetics I was marinating in my sleep and taking responsibility for them ...
As you lay down imagine yourself laying on the earth.
Breath the earth up into your body.
Exhale your self into gravity and imagine yourself sinking into the loving embrace of the earth.
Feel the dark brown color of the earth around you.
Breath that color and light in and exhale it all around you like an aspersion filling in your energy egg- that is your etheric field.
As you exhale now feel yourself rise up from the earth and land right on your bed still surrounded by this warm brown light.
Now continue with getting to sleep, resting in the protective earth light that surrounds you.
This creates a sense of invisibility to spirit beings and other energies that are exhaling out of your partner looking for somewhere to land.
IF you have any good Bedtime Rituals or Insomnia Tips, Please share below. Its all about growing and changing with the earths shifts and the new messages of our bodies !
We all have so much to learn from each other!