Sleep. Most of us love it, and most of us probably don’t get enough of it, the implications of which can be both physiological and psychological. Sleep is when your mind and body rest and rejuvenate, and a disturbed sleep can negatively affect your mental state, as well as impact your immune and nervous systems.
I’ve never been a great sleeper. As a small child I used to sneak into my parents room and crawl into bed with them. As I got a little bit older I’d drag my doona with me and set up a little bed on the floor. As an adult I’d like to officially apologise to them both. #keepingtheromancealive
Sleep is still something I struggle with. These days getting to sleep isn’t usually the issue, but I do wake up many many times throughout the night. I get too hot. Then too cold. Then I have a nightmare. Then I need to go to the bathroom. Then I can’t get back to sleep. Seriously I am a five-star sleeping partner. #sorrykarn
Luckily, I had the pleasure of attending a meditation morning hosted by Rajesh Ramani, Meditation and Life Enhancement Mentor at Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary (aka my dream holiday destination). While I was there I had the opportunity to speak to him one-on-one, and he has been kind enough to share his top tips on how to sleep better, so we can all benefit from his wisdom together (well, not together together, but you know what I mean…).
1. Be disciplined around your sleeping place and time
Stick to a regular bed time and keep your electronic gadgets away from your bed – stop using them at least an hour before bed time. It’s also a good idea to avoid alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods and high sugars right before sleepy time.
2. Body awareness exercises
A body-scan exercise focusing on the sensations of the body at your feet, hands, belly, chest and face will help to ground you and calm you. As you focus, gently relax the parts of your body you’re focusing on.
3. Deep breathing
Want to sleep better? Taking 20 deep breaths (right into your diaphragm) will help you to relax your body and mind; just make sure you keep your focus on the exhale.
4. Resolve the negative emotions of the day
Recap the day’s events and bring attention to the disturbing moments. Do not focus on solving the problem or attributing blame. Ask ‘what did I feel in that moment’? then let that sensation flow into your body and gently breathe it out.
5. Reconnect with loving moments of your life
Keep a journal and jot down one touching/loving/happy moment of the day. Write for exactly four minutes. Let your narrative be colourful and express your feelings. If you are not used to journaling (or you’re too tired to do it), speak about that loving/touching/happy moment and record it in your phone/gadget. Let the narrative be for at least two minutes.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Try to implement the above tips over the next couple of weeks and let me know how you go. And here’s to learning how to sleep better!
Rajesh Ramani is a life enhancement mentor and teacher who has trained and worked in spiritual philosophy for the past 18 years. He has traveled widely and has addressed diverse audiences across the globe, helping to bring a balance in the philosophy and perception of the individual as well as organisations.
An excellent motivational speaker, Rajesh believes in ‘Finding balance through Awareness’. Through powerful processes of reflection and insights he helps you become free of conflicting repetitive responses; heal unresolved emotions; establish greater connection in relationships and rediscover core strengths and values.