If preventing disease and feeling centered is your intention, then getting support for insomnia patterns is a high priority.
Getting to sleep is a challenge for many of us. I was doing really well with my sleep hygiene, as it’s called, then had a major upheaval in my work life that rocked my boat in a major way. All sorts of old patterns resurfaced and there I was, 2-3 hours of sleep and ready to surrender to the lesson in the crisis.
It’s easy to underestimate the effect of not getting enough shut-eye on your body and mind. But we don’t always think about the implications on your SOUL. Being in recovery from trauma myself, it’s something I’ve had to learn about and make peace with in order to heal on deeper levels.
Why do thoughts keep me awake?
Because the mind is a reverberatory chamber, thought waves triggered by the day’s echoes will ripple on until finally, the waters are still enough to shift to a different rhythm.
This subconscious rhythm originates from a different part of you connected to non-linear thinking. This is not the thinking field; it’s imagery, feelings, and blessed non-sense. It’s the dreaming state.
We need to spend time at this next level down to work out our emotional baggage of the day! If getting there is difficult because the chatter won’t stop, then your attention needs a hook so you are not turning up the volume on the chatter.
Attention is like a flashlight. I point that light at what I want to experience. This is a learned skill and like any muscle, it takes practice, repetition, and a loose grip
The toll of sleep debt
I don’t like to be motivated by fear tactics -yet knowing this risk list feeds my motivation to fuel my sleep hygiene habits.
9 physical effects of chronic insomnia
If you’ve read my New Health Manifesto, you know the effects of less than 7-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. But in case you didn’t, here they are to spark your motivation:
- Weight Gain
- Memory Loss
- Balance Issues
- Decreased reflex time
- Low Sex Drive
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
Surprising isn’t it…
But it’s more than just the physical health benefits of sleep that are important.
How about the health of your PSYCHE?
It makes sense, right? It’s about impossible to filter and process emotions in a healthy way when you are just too frazzled from not enough sleep.
And there is a whole lot of conflict, sadness, anger & old pain surfacing in these times of conscious unrest we’re sharing. We are collectively working out some old stuff! It’s time, and it’s part of the healing.
We all feel it in some way. It makes sense that we’d need extra time in the subconscious field to process.
Jung’s Collective Unconcious
There’s another level of sleep we must go to, deeper than your subconscious. This is what Carl Jung termed, the collective unconscious.
It’s not a new concept; all ancient wisdom cultures have a description of this. I think of it as a place, like a field we all inhabit, that is the very undercurrent of our being and our group experience.
It’s a reconnection of the spirit that happens each night. Like coming home. The effects of feeling disconnected are far-reaching and hurtful to our essential nature and sense of well-being.
Holistic resiliency and the regulated nervous system
Your subconscious must have time to work things out in the dream world. Otherwise, you’ll end up bringing those unfiltered issues into your waking life. These machinations and puzzles are also sorted and mended in the deep collective unconscious.
If left unresolved by lack of sleep, eventually this will create a dysregulation of your nervous system which can lead to severe symptoms physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I focus on holistic resilience practices for myself and others that address ways to re-regulate these patterns that are experienced in daily life. These keep us able to respond and thrive.
So if building our resilience, preventing illness, and living life with purpose is the desire, then resolving sleep debt is key.
3 tools for sleep
I am officially re-dedicating myself to the pursuit of dream catching. I aim for eight hours. Think about it, how much do you sleep?…really…no judgment.
Here are a few tools I’ve used to get you started.
1 Directed Attention
Although I don’t count sheep, my new strategy is to go through the alphabet naming herbs that begin with each letter. Fruits and veggies work well too -or any subject you enjoy; cars, destinations, paint colors, whatever.
Although I’m still skipping the letter X if I get that far, it’s doubly nice as a mind-focus and brings me a smile when I think of each one.
2 Create the Setting
Even if you cannot sleep – assuming the position of sleep in a cool, dark space counts. Turn off devices and make a ritual around the process of settling down for the night.
3 Take Your Nighttime Herbs
This is where personalizing is important. I can say from being a professional herbalist for over two decades, what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.
For me, I love some Catnip tea after dinner and Wild Lettuce tincture before bed!
What to do next?
Are you frazzled and could use an extra hour or two? I have been working my way back from disruption and feel inspired to re-up my commitment to sleep hygiene.
I’m willing to give myself that gift and I hope you are too.
If your insomnia is persistent and doesn’t respond to a few weeks of good sleep hygiene practice, it may take other skill sets to remedy. If restless legs, blood sugar imbalances, or hormone shifts are the cause; work with a natural medicine practitioner like me to unravel the layers of the disorder so you can get some rest.
Do you have or need a favorite nighttime recipe or routine? Send me a message if you’d like to talk about it and get some support.
Day by day we are born as night retires, no more possessing aught of our former life, estranged from our course of yesterday, and beginning today the life that remains.Palladas -4th century Greece