Sleep is the best meditation
Most people don’t have a problem getting to sleep. It’s getting BACK to sleep after they wake up in the middle of the night that’s the real problem.
Here are nine interesting tips to help you deal with middle of the night sleep frustration:
1. Beat the clock! Don’t look at it!
Watching the minutes pass by will only increase your feelings of stress and anxiety. The light from your clock or cell phone will also stimulate your brain to awake even further.
2. Relax your body, mind, and spirit in that order:
- Use PMR - Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Tighten and release your muscles from toes to head. Know that a relaxed body provides rejuvenation even if you don’t fall asleep.
- Empty the pockets of your mind. You wouldn’t leave things in your pockets when you do your laundry or drop off your dry cleaning. Go through your mind and consider what you are carrying around in it’s pockets and visualize yourself emptying each pocket so you can clean and clear your mind for the night. You can’t do anything about most of the things you have stuffed in there right now anyway!
- Relax your spirit by focusing on just one thing you are grateful for. One thing that brings you peace and calm.
3. Blanket in layers.
Use at least 2 different types of blankets and quilt- one that feels warm to the touch like fleece or flannel, and one that feels cool and crisp like cotton or satin. Raise and lower each when you have the need to cool down or warm up.
4. Focus on the mundane
Think about items of clothes in your closet that you might be ready to donate. Visualize your favorite restaurant and scroll down the menu in your mind. Take a drive through your favorite neighborhood or hometown in the map of your mind. Picture yourself walking slowly down a long staircase one step at a time. Distracting your mind can help you fall back to sleep.
5. Instead of telling yourself “I have to sleep” “I need to get rest”
Tell yourself “I can get up”, “I can get some things done”, “I can get better sleep tomorrow night and just start my day right now”. Often just that shift in mindset can outsmart your brain and relax you enough back to slumber.
6. Keep essential aromatherapy oils next to your bed.
Lavender, sandalwood, and marjoram can help you to begin to feel sleepy again. Dab a little oil onto your pillow or on to your pulse points like your wrist and neck.
7. Keep a pair of soft breathable socks on your dresser.
When you wake in the middle of the night slip them on. According to traditional Chinese medicine, wearing socks promotes positive energy flow. Cold feet can drain the body, while warmth from socks helps circulate your blood and qi energy.
8. Invest in an old-fashioned hot water bottle.
Keep it in your bathroom by a night light near the sink. Fill it with warm to hot water. Bring it into your bed and hug it. This can help you relax and increase feelings of well-being.
9. Keep your regular sleep schedule.
Get up at your regular time no matter how many lost hours you feel you had. You’ll be more tired the next night and that may help you get back on track.