A good night’s sleep is vital for every human being to thrive. A night of quality sleep allows us to wake feeling refreshed and energized. When we have a hard time falling asleep or don’t sleep at all we feel moody, irritable, and fatigued. Without a proper bedtime ritual, the quality of your sleep can suffer. Healthy pre sleep preparation facilitates your body’s ability to recover and rejuvenate while sleeping.
Our bodies will take care of themselves once we begin to adopt a nighttime ritual before we go to sleep. Preparing for quality sleep starts in our minds and with our thoughts. The body’s recovery process during sleep begins as your organs, bones, and blood vessels settle in for the night. The key word here is settle. Subconsciously we are tight from our day. Our muscles have done their job moving us around, bones have supported our weight, and fascia has stretched and tightened. Now that it’s time to sleep, we need to settle in.
Our nervous system is the conductor of the orchestra. Our fascia (connective tissue surrounding muscles and organs) has a mind of its own and together with the nervous system, needs our participating thoughts to help the process of settling in. As we lay down to sleep, pick your favorite position as long as it’s not on your belly, (more on that in my sleep posture blog) and go inside yourself and say hello:
- Breathe ~ deeply, in and out through the nose slowly.
- Settle ~ thoughts of the day. Go quickly through your day, conversations, accomplishments, what you didn’t get done and end with thoughts of gratitude. Be grateful that you had another day to live, breath, learn and love.
- Clear ~ the mind. Use some visualization or breathing for this.
- Sink ~ your bones into your body. Go inside yourself and say hello. Acknowledging your body before sleep is the settling in that I’m referring to. Soften the breath. Soften the body. Sink into the bed. Notice any areas that are not giving fully to the bed beneath you. Scan from head to toe and allow the bones to sink imagining your skeleton weighs 1000 pounds and it simply sinks towards the bed and rests inside your muscles and skin. Allow the bed to support your weight.
- Flow ~ See your blood vessels, arteries, veins opening. See the blood flowing through the circulatory system effortlessly.
- Soften ~ muscles that are clinching tight from the day’s activities, anxieties, and stress. If you hiked today, walked to the fridge or even did Yoga, allow the muscles to soften out of the tightening from your day. We are not meant to do these activities while sleeping.
This is where the recovery and the rejuvenation kicks in. As we sleep, we are meant to recover and rejuvenate. Most of us wake feeling tired, sore, and having thoughts of “here we go again”. How many years can we do this without rebellion? Our bodies rebel in all sorts of ways, pain receptors fire off, digestion problems appear. If we do these simple bedtime rituals, our quality of sleep will improve. We will feel more rested. Lactic acid and Hyaluronic acid (by products of energy output) will be flushed through the system, filtered, and emptied when we take that morning bathroom visit. With our bodies sleeping in a state of softness, good nutrients will be delivered to the cells of our body. Everyone is happy. Everyone is ready to wake, stretch, and enjoy another beautiful day! Give yourself a bedtime ritual!