Are you waking up in the wee hours with energy flowing through you and have difficulty falling back into slumberland?
Many people have issues clocking enough deep sleep hours to be at the best functioning during the day. There may be many causes such as trauma, stress, hormonal imbalance, sensitive to planetary energy shifts, working too late, eating too much or too heavy foods close to bedtime, not releasing the day's activity and staying connected too many hours to the internet and messages.
Here's what I've found over the years that might help you with this puzzle.
#1 Tune into what the core sources of your issue are. Are there causes which you'd rather not own up to and blame it on something else. Many of us have a tough time stepping away from the computer, tablet and phone to allow some down time before bed. Then when we doze off into sleep easily and are wondering why we wake up between 2-3 a.m. So first banish denial and face the elements you can take action on to support your sleep. If you do wake up, just observe the mind and the thoughts rather than adding fuel through worry about getting back to sleep. Remember your thoughts are just "puffs of stuff" passing through--not who you are, just part of what comes with having a human body.
Acknowledge and take steps to relieve the more obvious sources of sleep challenges, be it poor food choices, cyber connections, working too late, etc. If you've done your part for future good nights' sleep, if it's simply energy moving through, check out solutions below that may help relax.
#2 Have your sleeping area tidy and as dark as possible and establish a ritual that you enjoy. This might include some amount of downtime between last activity and going to sleep. In whatever time you pick as your relax time, add in things like meditation or contemplation, reading, journaling, doing a gratitude practice for what you experienced that day, and breathing that you find relaxing. Include in your gratitude practice thanking all the parts of your body that function for you daily--marveling at the amazing design of the body and give your body some hugs and love.
I find breathing in to a count of 4, holding for 7, breathing out to a count of 8 is relaxing for my body. (Exhale through the mouth or nose whichever you prefer.) With your breath you can imagine drawing in a golden ball of light from above the crown of your head down to your heart area. Feel the golden light turning to liquid and filling all of your body. As you breathe out, see the golden light expanding and sending a blessing you want for yourself and extending it out to the planet and all life. Example: May all beings be blessed with compassion and love. May all children be cared, nourished and protected. In this way you're taking the opportunity of awake and quiet time to send blessings to the planet.
Also doing a few cycles of rapid breathing (fire breath often used in yoga) with regular breaths in between can relax your body.
#3 My favorite nutrient solutions and oils/essences to support better sleep. You can use these before sleep or if you wake up in the middle of the night:
- Magnesium in the evening (could be topical, bathing in Epsom salts, or using a magnesium pill or powder. I enjoy using Aussie Minerals from www.SeaMineral.com and Ease topical magnesium from www.EaseMagnesium.com. Most people tend to be deficient in magnesium. Common symptoms are feeling on edge, tight muscles, muscle spasms, and irregular heart beats.
- One of my favorite supplements for supporting endocrine balance (my #1 all-time-feel-good go to) is "Plus" from Mannatech at my site: www.mannamotion.com/nonikaufman. Have used this for over 2 decades. Have more and even energy through the day, calms the body and makes stress less impactful and good focus AND for me helps with sleeping more hours at night. (I used to fall asleep as a passenger in the car after 10 minutes of driving--Plus changed my world!)
- Other sleep go-tos I recommend for my clients beyond herbal tea blends for sleep, tryptophan, and the commonly used Melatonin (for some will make them drowsy or down the following day)
* Theanine-Serene from Source Naturals which is simply amino acids that help calm the body.
* Also, Sleep Soundly from Banyon Botanicals is an effective combination of ayurvedic herbs.
Essential Oils for sleep are many! You can make a mix in 3 Tab of carrier oil like Jojoba and 3 drops of Lavender. Other oils you can combine or use instead of lavender are Chamomile, Sweet Marjoram, Frankencense, and Clary Sage. You can apply topically or make a hydrosol spray and add oils of your choice to spray on your body or pillow. Here's a link for making your own hydrosols. http://www.sustaincreateandflow.com/how-to-make-rosewater-and-other-hydrosols/Also, great to diffuse oils of choice for 20-30 minutes at bedtime.
You can also massage the mastoid area -- bony area behind your ears. And...if you want more tips, set up a session with me and we'll customize for you and teach you how to do some easy lymph drainage lying down before sleep and progressive body relaxation..
Just like any other desire or intent we have in our life, we're often not 100% committed to the change. The comfort of old patterns and beliefs keeps us with the pedal to the medal and the brakes on at the same time. Bringing awareness to what you resist about change can help you get clear to really go after your goal with real excitement.
Uber helpful to have a coach or friend to air what's holding you back. There's often a treasure trove of old memories, assumptions, traumas, family relationship issues, how you relate to your body and food, bad experiences with "dieting" and other lurking skeletons hiding out diminishing our readiness to GET SHIFT Happening. Sometimes it's a lack of confidence in your ability to take on the change -- that's where a support group or buddy can make all the difference.
Here's an example from someone who looked at the Fat Loss program I work with for my clients and at first said "NO way" to herself. The thoughts and memories that circled through her mind: She would have to change what she was drinking through the day and didn't think she would like it. She didn't want to give up sweets, chips, and pizza. She didn't want to miss out on the special family treats of caramel corn and peanut brittle. She didn't think she could really eliminate sugar. Here was her motivation that had her on a yes - no seasaw: STRESS had caused havoc for her in a variety of ways -- it caused a major health issue 45 years earlier that had her on medication. (Many medications while helping with symptoms, don't get to the underlying cause and can deplete your body of minerals and vitamins and throw off other regulating processes in your body.) Case in point is that every 6 months, she had to get her liver function tested to make sure no harm was done. She had lifelong sleep issues, had lost her son, and her husband had brain surgery followed by 10 months in rehab before he came home. She put on 10 lbs. in one month after he came home. She went for her yearly physical and told her doctor, if she could only get a handle on her cravings. The doctor looked at her and said: SUGAR IS POISON AND IT WILL KILL YOU, ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.
Somehow she overcame her resistance and "got with the program." Here;s the happy side 4 months after getting engaged with and following the program. Cravings disappeared immediately! She lost 10 pounds but 35 inches!! (meaning she gained some lean and loss lots of fluffy fat.) After 3 months, started sleeping better for the first time. Her constipation as a result of her medication ended!
So, what have you got to lose? What's your motivation? What's your back story? What are you resisting that might be eensy teensy hurdle to get over or big and bold? What support do you need to jump in to action?
Melanie dropped 60 pounds and lots of inches, now comfortable in her body and bending and lifting a breeze. Happy Trails to you!
Let's get physical. Ever wonder why you hear about that many conductors live long? One theory is that they're doing frequent upward movements of their arms, often for hours a day. Doing upper body movements are great for your lungs and heart and cardiovascular system as your muscles expand and open the lungs. Your heart is pumping strongly and bringing blood and nutrients to flow through your body. Great for the brain and focus too with so much circulation of energy.
#1. Do 100 conductor movements a day -- I often do that when I'm walking, swinging arms up to the sides and down and then up in front of my body. Always feels uplifting!
#2. Do slow deep breathing through your nose where exhale is twice as long as inhale. (Great to do before you eat to bring your focus to your meal and optimize digestion.)
#3. Get sweet spot amount of sleep 7-8 hours,
#4. Laugh to increase blood flow
#5. Eat plentiful servings of magnesium rich foods such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds.
#6. Drink 1-3 cups of dark roasted organic coffee daily. New info to me this year! (Best to have a good serving of fruit to start your day--wait 20 minutes to digest and then have your cuppa joe!) Lots of new evidence that coffee can be helpful for heart health. If you're not a coffee fan, just try 1/4 cup and see how your fare.
Contemplate and bless.
1. Pause in your day, put your hands over your heart and go on a gratitude fest. Recall the people in your life who have been there for you and supported you in many ways. Consider animals too that have been there to bring you love and nurturing. Bless them all and amplify those blessings to all beings who are suffering, bringing them whatever they need. (You create the blessing that resonates for you.)
2.Pour love and appreciation into YOU. Many of us have shunned our bodies and judge ourselves harshly. Time to pile on heaps of self love! Appreciate your body and all the miraculous ways it supports you in every moment. Whatever emotion arises, embrace and send it love.
What a wonderful piece of art by Kristin Noelle as a part of a great little video on the Monk's Manifesto. Here's the vimeo link for you to view: https://vimeo.com/76842041 So often we feel peaceful when we have so-called positive emotions moving through us -- of course there's the familiar grasp to hold on to the joy, bliss, peace as if we had some control. But come anger, rage, FEAR! and we want to jump out of our skins to escape either a heavy feeling inside that twists us to the core -- how often do we go shopping, indulge in emotional eating, crying on a friend's shoulder, or just plain try to "erase, erase!" again as if we had control.
Every emotion, and -- no need to name it as it moves through, is there as a helper for our growth and expansion. It may not even be part of our direct experience, but emotional stuff in the larger thought-o-sphere of consciousness. Any empaths out there? You know who you are! So, we can take the bullet train to expansion by greeting and embracing all emotions coming by for a visit! I've found often, just in the act of consciously allowing and feeling a sensation of welcomeness (uh oh...new word?) that the emotion quickly dissipates. Sometimes there is an inner contemplation or question about where this first arose. Sometimes a revelation, sometimes none. Definitely in student mode here crossing the river of transformation and awakening to all that is in the moment!
Is there anything more appealing as a go to food as PIZZA? Most of us, unless you know you're allergic to typical ingredients are suckers for a great slice or more of pizza. But what is the charmed life of that pizza in your belly? And what effect does melted cheese have on you inside belly works?
Okay, here's the facts from a friend of mine who has been a chiropractor with a nutritional focus for 30 years.
If you use lots of melted cheese it will be degrade and disrupt your digestion and take a toll on your gall bladder. When you're eating cheese from cows and the cheese is pasteurized and dead. Many of her clients and their young children had problems with their gall bladders. She witnessed, and had found a study to back it up, that for lactating moms, their gall bladders would become congested and they were passing on the excess fat to their babies and giving their little ones colic.
The pizza would thicken the lymph system and actually make the kids vulnerable to the viruses and bacteria floating around. She wasn't popular with the kids about pizza and recommended they do the soy cheeses or other plant cheeses with less fat.
A couple of colleagues of mine were traveling a few years back around Europe on a business trip. They ate quite a bit of cow dairy product (cheese) that was not their normal faire. Both suffered gall bladder attacks and had to have their gall bladders removed.
Takeaway: Take care not to gum up the works! If you want to have cheese and stay healthy, make it goat, soy, or sheep and eat in small amounts! For the very best for your body, have pizza with sprouted grains and keep it vegetarian for best digestion. Have your protein foods a few hours away from your starchy meals.