To The Land of Nod – Zzzzzz’s (Hey, Isn’t That East of Eden?)
In one of our earlier installments, when we discussed the various eight pillars of the NOGA Wellness Solutions,® we spoke about “Sleep the Undervalued Gift.” (CLICK HERE to read it again). It truly is undervalued and underrated for what it can do for us. Here, I’d like to share some practical things that I do to settle myself down more quickly to fall asleep. Additionally, feel free to grab our Sleep Hygiene for Adults (CLICK HERE) which has many ideas that you might want to implement for your own sleep routine.
Very often people have things on their mind when they go to sleep, and that thinking activity can be beneficial or detrimental to our sleep. If the thinking pattern is positive, pleasant, or relaxing, it can gently distract us and help our experience. Sometimes we can wander off into a reverie that takes us to the “Land of Nod;” and we fall right asleep. However, there are other times when we’re thinking about upsetting things or things that wake up our minds. At times, while lying down, alone in our head, our thoughts get out of control and take us onto the “Merry-Go-Round of the Mind,” which we’ve mentioned in various articles (CLICK HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE for some). What do we do then? Preferably, the first thing would be to not go there in the first place. That could prevent the whole upcoming disaster. If you do get stuck there, try as best as you can to distract yourself. As you recall, there are various suggestions, activities, and exercises that I’ve recommended in the past for bedtime. The first one is the slow Breathing Contest,™ with which you may be familiar.
As you may have learned on my site, I’m a little “pre-caffeinated” 😊. (That’s why I have learned all these concepts, and need to do this whole rigamarole.) I do several things in my sleep hygiene routine, usually in the same order. I make sure my room is as dark and as cool as possible (64-68°F). I put my blue light-blocking (orange lens) glasses on. (I have found that for me, the blue light-blocking glasses are the only thing that makes my eyes feel tired.) Then, I take my supplements and diffuse lavender in my room. I set my alarm, try to stop using digital devices, and go to reading real, physical books. (Yes, those informational things that have pages of paper in them with text printed on them – yes, old-fashioned paper!) Then I have a custom as many do, to say the Shema prayer (which takes a little time and sometimes causes me to begin to drift off). If I’m still awake, then I move to my 4 Gratitudes. This puts my mind in a good place, especially if I’m reviewing things that might be more activating. An alert and awake mind does not need to be anxious or upset. However, at that time, it’s best to relax the mind. I don’t want to be “busy-minded” even with very good things. I also need my body to relax. Exciting thoughts send neurotransmitters, activating the body “leg” of the 3-Legged Stool. For the body I do my signature Breathing Contest™ and count myself to sleep with the extended breathing cycles (with emphasis on the longer exhale). By the way, my app (see below) has an applet for customized breathing cycles. Do check it out (but practice with it only during the day. Remember, digital devices at bedtime produce daytime-like blue light). There are many other things that one can do in bed such as Guided Imagery (CLICK HERE). This is when you imagine yourself going to a very relaxing place with all your senses. Again, here is my Sleep Hygiene for Adults (CLICK HERE) to give you some more ideas for personalizing your sleep experience. Success and safe travels in your journeys to the “Land of Nod.”
These links and more are available on my site: Toratherapeutics.com. Please feel free to look around and click. Don’t forget to enjoy the Expanding and Contracting Focus Meditation™ FREE DOWNLOAD. It’s good until Erev Rosh Hashonah – Sunday, September 25th. Blessings for a healthy and happy upcoming new year!
Other free downloadable resources can be found HERE.
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