lovelight holistic health clinic
Guidelines for Restful, Healthy Sleep

Many people experience times during their lives when they have difficulty sleeping. So it is important to realise that this is not something that only you have, nor is it something that need stay with you for very long. Also it is not going to take a great deal of effort or time to allow you to sleep peacefully, restfully and healthily.

Firstly, a few myths about sleep:
Myth 1 – we all require 8 hours sleep a night. The actual amount of sleep we need depends upon the person, and for each person, depends upon their age, health, activities and many other factors.
Myth 2 – we have to try hard to sleep. In actual fact, trying hard is probably the thing that will most easily keep you awake. Relaxing and letting sleep come to you is far more likely to succeed.
Myth 3 – if I have thoughts running through my head I am not sleeping. These thoughts may be dreams which are part of your sleep pattern. You may think that you if are conscious of these dreams you are therefore awake, but it is far more likely that you are simply asleep but aware of your dreams. You are still asleep. Most people are unable to accurately assess how long they spend awake and asleep and frequently think they are awake when observers and EEG measurements show they are asleep. (I am sometimes woken by my wife to stop my snoring when I was certain that I was still awake.)

Suggestions for gaining a healthy, restful night’s sleep.

1. Prepare yourself for sleep. Your preparation could include:
a. No stimulants after 5pm. Stimulants include any caffeinated substance (e.g. coffee, chocolate, many soft drinks), alcohol and television.
b. A light meal more than 2 hours before you intend to retire to bed. A light meal would exclude fatty and processed foods and would be of moderate volume. A cup of chamomile or other relaxing herbal tea about an hour before you intend to retire can also help.
c. Gentle exercise more than 2 hours before you intend to retire to bed. Walking outside in nature is ideal. Ensure your safety by walking with a friend in well-lit areas or in daylight.
d. Relaxation before retiring to bed, e.g. meditation, a relaxing bath with lavender oil, listening to relaxing music.
e. Ensuring that you are tired. This includes having sufficient exercise during the day to feel physically tired but not to the point of exhaustion.
f. Take a magnesium tablet approximately 30 minutes before you go to bed (Radiance Magnesium Complex or other complex with a high magnesium:calcium ratio is recommended).

2. Prepare your bedroom. Your preparation could include:
a. Sprinkling a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow and/or in your bed.
b. Ensuring darkness by using blackout curtains which fit closely against walls around the windows.
c. Ensuring adequate ventilation – sufficient fresh air but without draughts.
d. Ensuring a moderate temperature – a little cooler than normal living room temperature is ideal.
e. Ensuring quietness (may be challenging if you live on a main road or in a city).

3. During the night:
a. If you go to bed and find you cannot sleep, get up again and do something relaxing. Return to bed in a few minutes or hours when you feel like sleeping.
b. If you find that thoughts about what you have to do tomorrow keep popping up, have a pencil and paper handy to write them down so that they can be on the paper not in your mind.
c. If you wake during the night and cannot easily and quickly return to sleep, get up and do something relaxing, have a cup of chamomile tea, read a book for a while and return to bed when you feel more relaxed or tired.
d. When you wake in the morning, get up soon afterwards regardless of whether you feel you have had enough sleep or not.
e. Some people find that reading a book for a short time in bed helps them sleep; others find it keeps them awake. Feel free to experiment. You may wish to keep a boring book by the bed especially to put you to sleep.
f. Similarly, some people find that listening to relaxing music helps them to sleep, while for others it does not. Experiment with this also if you wish. Relaxing music, like a book, may help to focus your mind on something other than your everyday concerns and thus help you to still your mind.

The key thing is to train your body to new sleep patterns and this may not happen instantly. A few ideas to help in this training include:
1. Use your bedroom for sleeping only, not for reading, afternoon rests without sleeping and certainly not for working.
2. Establish and maintain a routine and stick to this routine every day so that your body learns when it is time to sleep and when it needs to be alert.
3. If you are lying in bed for hours without sleeping, you are training your body that this is an expected behaviour. So do not lie in bed without sleeping for more than 30 minutes – get up and either start the day’s activities if it is morning or do some relaxing activity before returning to bed if it is still night.

You may find that you recognise beliefs which you hold or issues and emotions arise which may be preventing you from sleeping easily. Typically, this will occur when you are turning something round in your mind without coming to any conclusion about it. Sometimes writing it down can help. If there is a decision to be made the old adage of 'sleep on it' can be used to easily and effortlessly tap into your own subconscious to find the best answer, which you may find will be available when you wake up.

You deserve a good night's sleep, and you owe it to yourself to stake the necessary steps to obtain it. So if nothing seems to work, perhaps a Journey to clear out past emotional traumas or some ThetaHealing™ to clear out beliefs about sleeping which are no longer support you in this lifestream is indicated. Please contact me if I can help you, either with a face-to-face therapy session of by distance healing healing.
PO Box 296, Tauranga, New Zealand * Tel (07) 544 3087 * Mob (0274) 809 816 * info@lovelighthealing.co.nz
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