Sleep is Essential, not a sacrifice. Almost every health problem, including weight gain, is related to the quality of our sleep. Without sleep we die, but people think they can cut corners on it without consequences. If you have an eight-ounce cup filled with water, you can’t fit more water in, can you? If your day is already full, you can’t fit more in without taking something out first.
Sleep time is what many people think they can take out, so they can cram more activities into their already full lives – that’s a bad trade. It’s Essential to make healthy sleep a priority in your life.
Other people want and try to sleep more, but they can’t seem to fall asleep easily or stay asleep once they do. This problem may affect as many as 60 million people in the U.S., and even children are having sleep problems now.
The root causes of insomnia can vary, so if you have trouble sleeping, become a detective to discover what your root cause might be. Is it from stress at home or work, too much mind activity, or physical discomfort? It may even be from unseen causes, like having your bed next to the same wall as a smart meter.
Some people don’t know why they can’t sleep, but with some of the things you’ve learned here about balancing the Eight Essentials in your life, the Five Creative Forces, and TIP, you have the tools to help you figure it out. Whatever the root cause, you can discover it, resolve it, and gain the restful sleep you need.
Facilitating Peaceful Sleep for Your Restoration
“Rest” is the first word in restoration, and you can arrange your life to include this vital restoration every day. Make your bedroom into your “sleep sanctuary,” not a TV room, snack room, or computer workspace. Reserve it for peaceful, restorative sleeping (or intimacy) only.
Peace & Quiet: Make sure your bedroom is as peaceful as you can make it. It should have blackout curtains to make it completely dark. If that’s not possible, use a sleep mask over your eyes. If it’s not quiet, use earplugs to block or minimize noise, and change or wash them often. Most people sleep better in cool temperatures, around 65-67 degrees.
Remove all RF (radio frequency) or EMF (electromagnetic frequency) emitting sources (electric blankets, LED clocks, smart or cell phones, and computers). If your bedroom wall adjoins the outside wall where a smart meter is installed, move your bed as far away from it as possible. Likewise, make it far from the bed if you have a window air conditioner or space heater in the bedroom. RF and EM frequencies disturb your body’s sensitive bioelectrical system.
Position: Lie on your side in bed with your head on a pillow and have someone check your spine. It should be a straight line from head to tailbone. If not, you need to adjust.
Bedding: Is your bed or pillow old, saggy or lumpy? If you haven’t ever seen magnifications of dust mites (which like to live in foam and mattresses), look them up, be grossed out, and let that motivate you to make changes. Healthy bedding is important, so research non-toxic mattresses (without chemical flame retardants) and covers to protect you from mattress or foam out-gassing.
Lifestyle: Allow time to wind down at night. Listen to soothing music, read an inspirational book (on paper, not a screen) by the light of an incandescent, non-fluorescent, non-LED bulb, and eliminate or strictly limit your screen time after 6 p.m. Electronic screens emit “blue light,” which disrupts your body’s hormones and circadian rhythm, making your body think it’s day, not night. Tablets are the worst, because they are held closer to the eyes. Use blue-blocker glasses to filter out the computer screen and cell phone “blue light,” which is harmful to your general and visual health.
Whole-Person Balance: Everyone should be warned that conventional sleeping pills carry serious negative side effects. They don’t solve or balance anything, and are not a healthy option. Natural, safe alternatives exist, including homeopathically, but you need to identify the root cause.
Let’s go one-by-one through the Eight Essentials we’ve already covered as they relate to sleep.
- Human Spirit – is your spirit at peace about life and your place in it? Do you take time before sleep to be grateful for the good things in your life? Do you feel you’re living your life “on purpose,” or at least making progress toward bringing your life into greater alignment with your highest life’s purpose?
- Nutrition – is your blood sugar stable for sleep? Are you having a balanced meal (nutrient-dense veggies, adequate high-quality protein, good fats) at a reasonable hour to allow at least two hours for digestion before lying down to go to sleep?
- Water – are you drinking enough water during the day that you can stop all liquids after dinner (to keep you from waking too often during the night to use the bathroom)? You can keep some water in a bottle by your bed to take a few swallows during the night if your throat seems dry.
- Fitness – are you active enough during the day that your body welcomes the time to rest? Do you feel good about what you’ve done that day?
- Sleep – what steps could you take right now to make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary?
You see how each of the Eight Essentials keep building to bring your whole life into better balance?
Monitor Your Progress
Writing down your sleep goals makes them more tangible and helps you actualize them. Create your Self-Evaluation chart.
Take a sheet of paper, and at the top, write Sleep. Draw a line down the middle, creating two columns. At the top of the left-hand column, write My Life-Destroying Choices. What life-destroying choices or habits in this one area of your life would you like to change? Write them in that column.
At the top of the right-hand column, write My Life-Affirming Choices. Pick some ideas from this article that resonate with you and write them on this side. If any new life-affirming choices occur to you, write those, too. Ask yourself how you can balance your life to include enough restful sleep every day.
What changes can you make this week that will shift your balance sheet in this one area of your life from the Life-Destroying Choices over to the Life-Affirming Choices side? If you make even one or two of those changes every day this week, how might your life change?
To learn more about this Essential, download and listen to my podcast series on this topic. You can stream or download from iTunes, SoundCloud, UK Health Radio, Stitcher, TuneIn, or iHeartRadio. Listen while you drive, travel, walk, do housework, work out – perhaps even as you drift off to sleep.