Then, I started to pay attention to how I thought and spoke about sleep, and what my expectations were surrounding sleep. I noticed I frequently told people I suffered from insomnia. I also noticed my thoughts before bed each night included things like, "Oh gosh - I hope I don't have insomnia tonight," or, "Hopefully tonight my sleep won't be disturbed."
The universe supported the thoughts by making them creations. I tossed and turned. I suffered hip pain that woke me frequently. The universe even sent me a little dog (who I dearly love) that woke me up several times a night for seven years. The universe wasn't being perverse or mean. It was supporting what I believed about my sleep. Once I understood this and noticed my own thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors, I was already halfway to a better night of sleep.
First came the behavioral issue with the little dog. I consulted with animal communicator Karen Anderson who reminded me my beliefs about what my dog, Monkey, was going to do each night (wake me up multiple times) was part of the reason for Monkey's behavior, and she kindly suggested I change that expectation. She also communicated with Monkey and gave me some tools for dealing with behavioral slips and within a few days, the behavior had ended. It has not returned, nor do I expect it will because once I realized that behavior was in large part driven by my expectations, I was able to change the way I thought about it until my expectations changed, and then I was able to change my experience.
I also started to change my thoughts about the quality of my sleep, which also led to a change in my expectations. Every time I noticed myself slipping into my beliefs about insomnia or hoping I didn't sleep poorly, I paused for a moment, visualized myself sleeping well and waking refreshed, and repeated the affirmation, "I sleep peacefully and comfortably and wake refreshed." I now use this affirmation every night before I go to sleep, as well as throughout the day if I notice any of my old thought patterns about sleep creeping in. One of the things I've found is along with sleeping better in general, I've noticed I am less likely to be awakened by aches and pains (such as persistent hip pain I've experienced for several years) throughout the night. Now I'm working on changing my thoughts, beliefs, and the story I tell about that hip pain, but that's another blog for another day. Right now we're focusing on sleep.
Other Solutions (Metaphysical & Physical)
I also implemented some metaphysical solutions, which serve as a reminder that the focus of my thoughts need to be on peaceful sleep. They also create an energetic vibration that is more supportive of peaceful and restful sleep.
- I keep an amethyst crystal next to my bed. Amethyst supports restful sleep.
- I spray my pillow with chamomile and lavender essential oils in a pillow spray made from 3 ounces of water, 1 ounce of vodka, and 5 drops each of lavender and chamomile essential oils. If you'd like to make your own, maintain the same dilution, and try other sleep promoting scents, such as eucalyptus, bergamot, sandalwood, and clary sage.
- We use a white noise machine in our bedroom that has binaural beats for relaxation.
- I diffuse calming essential oils or blends with an aromatherapy diffuser on the bedside table.
- Each night, part of my bedtime ritual is taking a hot scented bath using essential oils or relaxing, calming scents.
- I engage in affirmations and visualization before sleep.
- No backlit screens (including computer or television) for about two hours before sleep
- No food after about three to four hours before going to sleep
- No caffeine after 2 PM
- Keep the room temperature cool and instead use layers of blankets or sheets to adjust the temperature accordingly
- Regular exercise
Your Better Sleep Program
- Examine your beliefs and thoughts about sleep. Notice how you think about it and what you say to others. Be aware of these thoughts, words, and beliefs.
- When you notice you're slipping into any thoughts about sleeping poorly (whether wishing and hoping you don't or telling others you never sleep well), change the thought.
- Affirm you sleep well and wake rested. Do this throughout the day when old thought patterns creep in and every night before you go to sleep.
- When you wake in the morning, express gratitude for a good night of sleep.
- Evaluate the quality of your sleep environment from both an energetic and physical perspective. Notice things that may be serving as barriers to sleep, such as room temperature, a digital glowing clock right next to your head on the bedside table, or noises that may keep you awake.
- Use energetic tools that adjust the energetic environment of your sleeping space and serve as physical reminders to notice and change your thoughts and beliefs about sleep. These can include placing crystals like amethyst and clear quartz next to the bed, performing relaxing and sleep-promoting mudras such as Shakti mudra, incorporating pleasing sounds like binaural beats and white noise for relaxation, and using pleasing sleep-promoting scents like those noted above.
- Evaluate the quality of your personal habits and how they may affect sleep. If you're using backlit screens before bed, they could be changing your circadian rhythm. If you're consuming caffeine late in the day or alcohol right before bed, these may negatively impact sleep, as well.
- Engage in a nightly bedtime ritual that tells your body and spirit you are ready for sleep, such as a nightly bath and spending some time reading an uplifting book or having a cup of chamomile tea.
With some attention to your thoughts, habits, and environments, it's possible to reprogram yourself to sleep peacefully so you won't have to sit up all night with other insomniacs on social media.