"You'll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart."
There seems to be a pandemic of insomnia, which is not surprising given the stresses of this time. The good news about this bad news is that time and creativity has been invested in finding solutions. The internet offers a wealth of natural sleep remedies.
However, good sleep has to be important enough for you to find the solution that will work for you, other than medication. Sleeplessness can be miserable and debilitating. This post is written from the heart, and through overcoming my own recent experiences with insomnia. I realized I had to do more than apply techniques, good as they are. I had to look at the larger picture for my result.
Here are some keys I hope may help you to get on track with sleeping well if this is an issue for you, or for someone close to you.
Clear intention is a quality of the human spirit. I call it one of the "heart senses". Sometimes, you have to get really sick and tired of being tired and sick before intention steps in and you resolve to deal with the issue. Even if your insomnia seems incurable, the wisdom within you will find a way. Not necessarily overnight, but with patience and persistence, step by step, you can do it.
True intention is unshakable. It goes deeper than "belief" and has a quality of knowing: This I can do, and I am doing it.
"A good intention clothes itself with power."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
2. POSITIVE FOCUS
With a positive focus, you keep taking action towards getting good sleep, and disregard discouragement when it shows up. Listen to people who have overcome insomnia, not those who say it is impossible.
Be as curious as an infant discovering their world for the first time. You may not have what you need immediately, but keep going and you will find it.
Experiment and track your results. If one method does not work, forget it. Go on to the next one. You can be quite scientific about it. Each person has different needs for sleep. Find out what yours are so that you know what you are going for. Discover what works best for you.
3. RECONCILE THE ISSUES...
.... that are keeping you awake
Sleeplessness can be viewed literally as a "wake-up call". Wake up to what? Any kind of mental or emotional disturbance gets your attention. It can also in my experience lead you to discovering more of your strengths and qualities, wisdom and understanding. You may wake up to the greater part of you that remains peaceful, while the world around you is in turmoil.
Talk to a wise friend, or a counsellor, who can assist you to resolve and release the concerns that are keeping you awake.
Find peace of mind in your waking hours. Accept yourself just as you are. Think about how: you can accept the things you cannot change; find the courage to change the things you can; and have the wisdom to know the difference.
"Human beings are of such nature that they should not have only
material facilities but spiritual sustenance as well.
Without spiritual sustenance, it is difficult to get and maintain peace of mind."
HH the Dalai Lama
4. LET GO
Are you trying to do too much? Is your life cluttered? Do you feel overwhelmed? Are you trying to control the uncontrollable - your teenager, the economy, poverty in Africa, the war in Afghanistan, your mother-in-law?
How could you simplify your life? Are there projects you have in mind, but you are not doing anything about them? Let them go.
Is your home or office cluttered with "stuff" - professional journals you will never read; clothes you will never wear; ornaments or pictures you do not really like? Keep what is essential and directly meaningful for you, and let the rest go.
The joy of sleeping well is that of letting go of the day, knowing you have done the best you can. Many of life's problems can be solved through a good night's sleep and waking up fresh in the morning to see things in a new light.
If you did not see Ed and Deb's blog on Mini Meditations, you might find them helpful in allowing yourself to let go, whether during the day or at night.
"The sanctuary of the heart is the location of peace.
You move into the spiritual heart to discover peace."
Loving yourself really comes first because it underpins the willingness to take good care of your needs. However, you may be someone who prefers to take care of everyone else first. This may work fine for a while, but sooner or later, your batteries will need re-charging.
I have heard it said that loving ourselves is the final frontier. How could you love yourself better? Could you be more forgiving, understanding, kind and patient when you are less than your best? The more you love yourself, the better you become at loving others - through your empathy and compassion for the human condition of which we are all a part.
We are creatures of habit and through loving ourselves, we can upgrade our habits. If insomnia has been a prolonged habit for you, then your challenge is to create a new pattern of sleeping well. I encourage you to love yourself to do what it takes to find what works for you and to experience the peace and serenity of a really good night's sleep.
This short video evokes The Angel of Rest:
If there is anything I may be able to do to assist you, please get in touch. Have you found good ways to overcome insomnia? How do you ensure a good night's sleep?