When Sleep is Elusive
When was the last time you had a perfect night’s sleep where you wake up rested and refreshed?
If you are like most people in our modern, fast-paced world, you may not even know the answer to that question…
Sleep is the best way we have of restoring, repairing and rebuilding the essential functions of our bodies.
Lack of sleep can be linked to everything from depression and low immunity to brain fog and low productivity.
Experts are only just beginning to sound the alarm on the contributing factors of lack of proper sleep.
Lack of sleep messes with these natural rhythms of our bodies and brains moving through different states of consciousness throughout our day, it sabotages our joy and vitality.
There are 5 different states of consciousness which produce unique brain waves.
- Alpha waves occur when we are in a relaxed or creative state.
- Beta waves occur when we are stressed, anxious or experiencing negative emotions or thoughts.
- Delta waves occur at the level of meditation or light sleep and allow you to access your subconscious reprogramming.
- Theta waves occur at the level of deep sleep where the unconscious mind is activated.
- Gamma waves occur in bursts of insight or high-level focus.
Each of these stages of consciousness is important to our health and wellbeing. When we don’t sleep, we spend a disproportionate amount of time in the “Beta” stage and not enough time in other stages. Sleep helps us to process and catalog all the input that we received over the course of our day. When we are not accessing the healing states of our subconscious or unconscious mind, we can get a build-up of unprocessed energy and emotion that can throw everything off. With even moderate levels of sleep deprivation, we can become easily overwhelmed and even paranoid or delusional.
Meditation helps us spend more time in the delta (light) and theta (deep) states which is why many people find that when they meditate regularly, they are more emotionally balanced, clear and don’t need as much sleep. Meditation prolongs the typically short/transitory state of Delta that only happens for a few moments when we are drifting off to sleep or waking up in the morning (only when we don’t use an alarm!)
If your body is in a Beta state and you are anxious or have compulsive thinking your body will not allow you to fall asleep because it perceives a “threat”. Throughout our evolutionary history, a threat typically meant that you were going to have to “fight or flight”. Your body is keeping you awake so that you are ready to respond. The only way your body will allow you to fall asleep is after you convince it that “all is well”. The best way to do this is to intentionally put yourself in an Alpha or Delta state through meditation or breathing exercises and affirmations.
Start by breathing in deeply through your nose for a minimum of seven seconds followed by a deep breath out for seven seconds. Repeat this for several minutes while repeating the following affirmations.
I am safe. I am secure. I am loved. I have everything I need.
I enjoy deep, peaceful, restorative sleep.
My mind is calm and uncluttered.
I have completed my work for the day. What is left undone will be taken care of tomorrow.
There is always enough time, resources and energy to do what needs to be done.
I sleep in peace and wake in joy.
When you go through this exercise of relaxation you will signal your body to move from “fight or flight” to “rest and repair” mode. You will move from Beta to Alpha and then Delta states of consciousness. You will be able to stop the mental chatter and lead your body to rest.
Adding this routine to an environment that is conducive to sleep (dark, quiet, cool, no electronics, uncluttered) will allow you to catch those needed Zzz’s. It will begin your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual restoration so that you can greet your morning feeling alive, revitalized and ready for your day.
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