I am no expert in sleep psychology or anything like that, but I have found a way of falling to sleep peacefully every night.
I used the be the type of person that would turn things over and around, up and down, back to front and every other way in my mind. It would take me ages to fall asleep and sometimes I would only manage a couple of hours. Because of this (although I never do this intentionally), lack of sleep makes me grumpy as hell the next day. Just like any other human on this planet, I need a certain amount of sleep to function. And like most other humans, the closer I get to 8 hours the nicer I am the next day.
So, things had to change. I wasn’t sleeping well, it was affecting my relationships and my productivity. I felt pretty crap about myself for not reaching my full potential every day- be that physically, emotionally, spiritually or intellectually.
Anybody who knows me, knows too that I haven’t always been so spiritual. In fact, I would say a few years ago I was quite the opposite. Black was black, white was white, there’s none of this airy fairy piffle in the middle. Well actually, I’ve come to realise spirituality isn’t like that at all. The more research I do, the more books I read, the more online seminars I watch- the more I realise that’s there’s actually something to this spirituality stuff. Namely in this instance, ways of getting to sleep better!
It led me to read a book specifically about meditation. I’ll admit there was a lot in the book I didn’t quite fully absorb, but I decided to take some of the techniques from it anyway and apply them in parts of my life that I thought relevant. So strictly speaking, this technique is a meditation technique- but in the right circumstances (i.e. a nice cosy bed, in comfy pjs), sleep is guaranteed for me every time.
It’s all about creating a garden in your mind. I know it sounds nuts but keep reading.
You see, each seed you plant, or feature you add, or rose you tend to, represents something in your life. By doing this you are mentally nurturing aspects of your life which in turn has a profound effect on your mindset. I believe it is because you feel as though you are being productive, yet you are relaxed at the same time.
An example; a seed could represent your confidence. You take the seed in your hand, roll it between your thumb and finger, you know that is it strong and that it will grow so sturdily. You plant the seed well, cover it with wonderful nutritious soil, and you know – by the laws of nature – that seed will grow. The next time you visit, you see your confidence has grown, even just a tiny bit, but it will soon be the strongest tree in the entire garden!
A rose could represent your love. Or a rose bush your family. You can feel the soft petals in your hand and you water the plant well- knowing that your relationships will flourish with each drop. The roses are beautiful and bright! They make you smile and you will give them attention every time you visit your garden- because you love to see them flower.
A lemon tree could represent your creativity- how do they look? Are they ready to pick? Do you have some ideas growing steadily – not quite there yet- but they will soon be ready for lemonade? Or lemon cake? You know that saying right? When life gives you lemons…
Or maybe you’ve got a gigantic new water feature installed which represents your wealth. Look at that water (wealth) flowing! It sure is pouring out of there. Why not use some of that water to nurture other aspects of your garden?
So, you see, your garden can be anything you want it to be! It can grow into whatever you choose. It can represent your best self. You can visit it as often as you like not just at bed time- it is your safe place, your relaxing space to grow and nourish yourself.
Feel free to use this technique to meditate or let me know if it works for your sleep benefit too!