You’re enticed by the quick fix, the glass of wine, the little pill or the nature sound music.
You’ve tried the lavender on your pillow, the new mattress, the change in schedule and diet.
You’ve stopped the late night caffeine. Nothing is working.
You are beginning to feel like you are losing your mind.
It’s crucial you get this sleep. You cannot stand living like this anymore.
You are feeling a little hopeless because this has happened so many times before.
You’ll read the book; you’ll do some breathing or write.
Your brain is wired.
You feel so drained and yet completely out of control.
Still nothing is working.
You glance at the clock again. 4 am.
I might as well just lay here for an hour longer and then get up…
You’ve adjusted yourself to a “normal” life with less sleep while you tell silly stories about how you only need 4 or 6 hours when you know intuitively you really need more.
Bedtime stories à trois.
I sit in a Starbucks as I type this and I observe without judgment. I like to do these observations of human behavior from time to time… in pharmacies, grocery stores, restaurants and coffee shops mostly. What are we drinking, eating, consuming? How are we behaving and how does it have an impact on our human behavior and health.
There is a man sitting with his girlfriend and he’s reading the newspaper and he is back and forth to his phone. Paper, phone, paper, phone. He’s drinking out of a green straw that is dipped deeply into a sugary coffee drink covered in whip cream… His drinks are tempting and he wants more. He hasn’t removed his lips from the straw… he drinks this warm beverage like it’s his lifeblood. His eyes haven’t left his paper or phone. The girl… she is looking around the room. At the fireplace, the books, her coffee and people. She looks so incredible sad. Her posture is rounded and she is sunken into the chair. Her eyes look down so deeply that I wish I could get up and hug her right now and tell her how beautiful she is inside. She wants to be seen and loved by him…. He doesn’t notice her.
I’m in a restaurant with my grandparents and son, we are eating breakfast. There is a man, a wife and their son. The boy is around 10 years old. The man is eating pancakes, the son is eating waffles and the wife is drinking only a cup of coffee. She is sitting quietly by herself moments from tears as her husband and son spend the entire breakfast on their phones. There is no conversation taking place between any of them. She is embarrassed. She is visibly depressed by her reality. She says nothing and continues to sip her coffee. I could feel her sadness from where I was sitting and the tightness in her throat.
Years ago, as my driven nature sprung forth to grow my passion, my business, I began staying up later and later at night. I was a brand new mom and reflecting back I was also looking for an outlet to remind me that I was still a feminine woman. New moms will understand that statement and I was used to being up at night… often nursing my son anyway. My former marriage was hard at the time and I innocently poured myself into work. All of the addictions to work I had in the past came rushing back and it wasn’t until later in one moment that I became aware of what I was doing. I then knowingly allowed them to consume me once again.
I stayed up later and later. I was writing and creating some amazing stuff so it was easy to justify and yet slowing killing my adrenals and my tender body. I undoubtedly wasn’t fostering intimacy in my marriage. I wasn’t as present of a mother for my son. I was sacrificing myself and choosing my computer instead. It wasn’t until later that I realized that the “addiction” to staying up and working late was self-punishment.
I was angry with myself and this was my way of hurting me. I had shifted from creative genius to angry zombie in a few short months and yet I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t sleep. I began pulling all nighters… I went down the rabbit hole of a sleepless-depression.
There are triggers that cause our sleep problems. Stress, computer or phone usage, travel, work or relationship issues. Trauma within our life or bodies or potential hormonal shifts. Emotional causes as well as food, drugs or alcohol make impacts too.
Sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing and yet there are millions of people who do not get enough. As a practitioner, it is one of the most common complaints I get from people when I begin working with them. Interestingly enough, it isn’t just adults experiencing sleep problems, it’s also our children.
Today, I want to offer you a NATURAL SLEEP perspective.
Sleep is natural to life. Your body already knows how to heal, you were born to sleep and you will do it again.
If our inner sleep rhythm is off then there is always a natural solution to it. I’m talk’n Circadium Rhythms, laws of nature and daylight.
I’m speaking now to your biology as a human being.
The release of melatonin from your pineal glad makes you feel sleepy. As the morning light comes up, on a cellular level we feel it and then drip, drip, drip… more melatonin and we wake up.
Sleep is a signal that says, hey body… time to regulate your cortisol, thyroid and estrogen.
Without sleep you are throwing your hormones completely off balance.
Causing hundreds of difficulties with your health and body.
Intuitively you know this.
Also, it’s the reason why you’ll do almost anything possible to get it, right?
We have late nights, tablet, computer and phone use that is non-stop. We have caffeine, alcohol, anxiety, eating late at night and stress holding us back.
We look for the quick fix versus the root of the issue. The quick fix will provide exactly that and will create major issues long term.
A very recent study at the time of this post shows that sleeping pills don’t work well. There is 50% placebo affect. They are also shown to increase mortality and are linked to cancer.
OWN YOUR SLEEP!
Get more answers that are personal to your body and Dosha. Schedule a session with Renee here.
There is nothing more important than your sleep and there is no better time for you to change your life to focus on your sleep. Your life really does depend on it.
Dirty Little Sleep secrets.
Remove your computer, tablets and phone from your bedroom completely. The body’s circadian rhythm tells us to get ready for sleep as the sun goes down. That light from your tech gadgets confuses your body and melatonin and keeps you awake. Staring at a screen before going to bed kills your sleep and your sex life too.
This needs to be a sanctuary. Sex and sleep only. Remove all technology from it. Clean and organize clothing, closets, and under the bed. Create a space that invites the two functions of the bedroom. Make it dark. Keep the room cold… Yes, below 67 degrees. Practice sex and sleep. Both masturbation and sex increase endorphins (similar to a good workout) that this will make you sleepy.
Reduce or eliminate caffeine. Drinking warm almond milk with nutmeg is soothing. Eliminate alcohol. This actual makes it harder to sleep… drinking wine is a myth. Enjoy chamomile tea and foods that have magnesium and vitamin B. Dark green leafy veggies regularly throughout the day. Legumes, nuts and seeds.
Work out and get exercise daily. Get outside as much as possible for natural light to increase your melatonin throughout the day. Ideally, you want to be in bed before 10pm. Journal out your stresses, to do’s, work or relationship struggles and leave them before you get into bed. Meditate and breathe before bed if necessary. Take a warm bath.
Your awareness practice.
Meditate, each morning and between 5-7pm (as the sun goes down) preparing your body for sleep.
I just spent the weekend with Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra and a few hundred practitioners learning about the power of healing. Breathing can change your life… when you do it properly. Most of us don’t. Here is a specific breathing technique that can change your life, it changed mine: Andrew Weil 4-7-8 Breathing.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty damn determined to find a way to live life to my fullest potential each day. For both me and you, as a practitioner and entrepreneur it is absolutely necessary that I live the practices I share with you. The most successful entrepreneurs that I know, meditate, sleep well, eat amazing, have great sex, thriving friendships, good relationships and a great community. They read and grow their soul through personal development. So… You find a way. That is the mentality. You find a way to not sacrifice YOU for other things.
You may need a little internal and external cleansing. Toxic build up within the body creates disease, stress and sickness. The more toxic you are, the harder it will be to sleep. Your emotions and past issues from childhood are held deep within your cells. This creates stress. We watched our parents struggle with sleep and so we may do the same. Poor sleep is NOT genetic. It isn’t a life sentence; it is a learned.
Dim lights around the house and light candles. Burn incense or use essential oils that help with sleep. Turn off television, computers and gadgets within an hour before you sleep. Play relaxing music or nature sounds.
Magnesium and B complex vitamins are essential. I always recommend eating foods that contain these as a first option. Valerian root is helpful and there are others that I would recommend to a private client after knowing their body and history.