Making Space for Sleep

You can support your sleep by thinking about it during the day. Connecting with your ‘sleep-self’ when you are awake, you are embedding the idea of a good night’s sleep. You add to positive conditions for a restful night ahead.

1. Nurture your resting space

Before you even leave your bedroom, take a moment to re-establish your bed as a safe and enticing place. At best, your bedroom is a sanctuary for sleep. Could you alter just one thing that would make the room even more comfortable or enticing? Could you de-clutter your bedside table, or clear space by your bed? Before you leave, sit briefly on the edge of your bed and appreciate your work. Breathe deeply, appreciating the restful atmosphere.

 

2. Enjoy your daydreams

Sleep is hard when your mind is full. One way to ‘de-clutter’ your thoughts is to let yourself daydream. Daydreaming is a great way to ‘be’. The dreamier, the better. You could daydream while walking in nature, taking a bath, washing up; anything easy and enjoyable. 

Daydreaming puts you into being mode (and takes you out of doing mode). Just being, you can absorb your day, the events in life. You give them time to settle. You can also notice what kind of daydreams you have. Tuning in to the background feelings of the daydream, you help your body to process and absorb emotions and excess energy. You ask, “What is the feeling behind this daydream?” This helps you notice and acknowledge how you feel. Feelings need to be felt, or they turn into thoughts – the sort of thoughts that may wake you up at night, when they can be sure of your attention! So it’s good to daydream, and feel what lies inside your daydreams.*

* If your daydreams are persistently distressing, find support from a friend, or book for a session of coaching or therapy.

 

3. Go to bed well-rested

Rest is the perfect prelude to good sleep. When your nervous system is over-activated, it stops you sleeping. Rest helps your system settle and relax. Rest is a bridge. It slides you towards sleepiness. So take time to pause. Enjoy some restful feelings in the daytime. Relish even small moments of ease. As you do, your system orientates towards sleep. Remember: quality rest leads to quality sleep. 

You may wonder, “Won’t I stay awake at night, if I rest in the day?” Perhaps. But if you have trouble sleeping, then it’s good to err on the side of rest. Besides, your body needs to be rested in order to ‘remember’ how to sleep. 

We have two ‘sleep buttons’ which are pre-set to go off and send you to sleep: circadian rhythms and sleep pressure (more in future blogs). When you are well rested, your nervous system is more able to engage its innate sleep signals. Your body finds it easier to locate the ‘green light’ for a deep and refreshing night’s sleep.

 

 

I hope you will nurture your sleep-self during the day: creating in a safe and comfortable place to sleep, indulging pleasant daydreams, and resting when you can.

 


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