The question is often asked – how much sleep do we need? There are lots of ideals and beliefs around how much sleep we need, and how this changes due to our age or what we do. I learned a lot about this when I was studying for a diploma in Herbal Medicine.
But I have noticed that it’s not really about how long I sleep, but the quality of sleep that I am getting.
If I go to sleep with unresolved emotional issues, and a million thoughts going through my head, or if I have had a tough day with my daughter and not taken the time to discuss it with her, it really affects the quality of my sleep. I may have the suggested 8 hours sleep but the quality is poor due to the fact that I have so many undealt-with issues.
All of these things that I take to bed with me can be very tiring because on some level my body is still processing them all night long – and when I wake, I feel tired and as if I haven’t really slept at all.
What’s the solution? What changes to sleep and the quality of my sleep have I made?
- First of all, there is no such thing as perfection, so just taking baby steps is a good start. I sometimes forget and just fall asleep in a state of exhaustion, but that is changing with time.
- I have committed to communicating with my family and loved ones so that if anything comes up, it can be dealt with there and then before I go to sleep, rather than brushed under the carpet to be dealt with when there is time. There is never enough time and all these issues just keep building on each other until the pile is massive and much harder to deal with.
- I prepare myself for sleep. I try to not get too excited or do activities that are stimulating my nervous system for a few hours before my sleep time. So no doing accounting or business emails after 5pm! I have recently been taking the time to have a shower – not just to get clean, but as a loving ritual for myself… and I really enjoy it. After my shower it feels great to spend a little time putting cream on my body and giving myself a massage. My skin really needs it as I have neglected it most of my life.
- I make time to wind down, to be with myself and relax. This helps because then I don’t end up in bed wired, feeling like I will never fall asleep.
- When I do go to bed, I put myself to bed as if I were putting a baby to bed. I really take the time to get comfortable, so that my body feels fully supported.
I deserve to love and care for myself fully, and it’s something that I had never really taken time to do. We often give this much care to others and our children but forget to also give that same care and dedication to ourselves.
So I have discovered that it’s not so much “how much sleep do we need?” but how I am living before I go to sleep, and how that affects the quality of my sleep. I learned these simple ways from presentations by Serge Benhayon and Natalie Benhayon, and from my own experimenting and experience.
By Rosie Bason, Mullumbimby, NSW