Sleep! you need it, you want it, but how do you get it?
I have finally cracked my sleep code. There are so many theories and strategies to getting to sleep and staying asleep. All you need to do is a quick google
search and there are pages and pages and pages of advice.
Room temperature, lighting, keep a sleep diary, don’t look at the clock if you do wake, set an alarm clock so you don’t have to worry, no electronics or
food hours before bed, read, meditate, music, no caffeine, magnesium, honey and salt mixed together, chamomile tea and the lists go on and on including
essential oils. A big mistake was looking at a clock because that cemented the time in my subconscious, oh I am awake at 4am, and therefore my brain
thought I should wake at 4am. Then I would think about how long I had been asleep and how much longer I had to ‘try’ and sleep.
I had tried EVERYTHING, and I mean everything!
My husband kept telling me that it was in my head, I was thinking myself awake and just to think of nothing and go back to sleep. Oh, if only it were that
easy. But when you are the one in the early hours of the morning trying to count sheep and not think of anything, it gets beyond exhausting.
Another strategy is to not go to bed too tired because when you are over tired your body is wired. I had gone to bed early, not too tired and other times
physically exhausted and yet I still kept waking after a few hours.
My problem was not going to sleep but staying asleep. I would get form 4-5 hours of sleep and then wake up wide awake, often replaying an event that had
happened the previous day. The more I tried not to think, the more I thought. The more I thought about not sleeping the more I stayed awake. I tried
thinking just to ‘relax and breathe’ and not worry about sleep because not sleeping was stressing me out, so relax instead.
I was beyond exhausted and struggling.
It came to a head when I lost my dad suddenly. Within 12 hours of the news I was on a flight to a different time zone, sleeping on a mattress on the floor.
Late night after late night organising his funeral and estate, trying to come to terms with the grief I would lie awake and then grab about 4 hours
sleep and waking a sobbing mess. Keep going the next day and after two weeks of 4 hours sleep a night I was a walking zombie physically and emotionally.
It reached a crucial point and I searched for yet another alternative sleeping method that would actually work for me. I thought that if I tried more and
more things that I would eventually figure out what would work for me.
In a desperate last ditch attempt I narrowed down that my body clock was waking be between 2am and 4am. I looked into Chinese body clock theories and narrowed
it down to my liver, lungs and grief, which would make sense as I was asthmatic as a child. By not sleeping during 2-4am though, it was not allowing
my lungs to rejuvenate. Yikes that spurred me into action. I researched and found a kinesiologist and explained that she was my last hope, explained
the situation and was assured she could help.
My first appointment was extremely successful as I was obviously ready to face some deep down buried beliefs that was holding me back. She did muscle testing
and it brought up a very interesting timeline and two dates from my childhood. She found the dates and I could relate to them. By acknowledging the
feelings I had back then allowed me to face them, bring them to by consciousness and eliminate them. I could then narrow down other times when I stopped
sleeping well and being made redundant was significant. I had to acknowledge the stresses and worries I was still holding on to then face them so that
I could eliminate tension.
I was thinking too much and ‘thought’ I was feeling ok, but I wasn’t quite there. Pieces of the puzzle were still missing for me.
Heart energy connection was another missing piece.
Training my body to get back into the right cycle of sleep was my mission. There were times that once I had lay there awake for what seems like hours,
I would check the clock so that I knew what time it was and how much longer I had to suffer lying there pretending to sleep.
Now when I wake I don’t think about sleep or relax. I focus on matching my breathing to my heart beat and allow my body to connect with itself.
As you age your awareness of your heartbeat reduces. The idea is that when you are meditating you ignore every body function, just let them be sensations
and give them no attention.
Meditation is about paying close attention to your inner world. Everything in you has a meaning and serves a purpose. Your heart is your source energy.
You can’t ‘feel’ the other organs working but you can feel your heart especially during exercise, stressful situation and when you are anxious.
Heartbeat rhythm is really super important. Not only can you not live without it, but the rhythm drives your entire nervous system. It effects your physiological,
endocrine system and your brainwaves.
Your brain has neuro cells and so does your heart with over 40,000 cells, which is amazing. These heart cells speed up or slow your heart down.
Your heart is an energy centre, your heart chakra and is the centre of your emotions. When you meditate you are connecting with yourself, exploring your
deepest emotions. Your emotions drive your decisions.
Everything is interconnected and everything is energy.
When you focus on your heartbeat you stay focused on your emotions. Feel the emotions of depression and anxiety so you can connect with them. Once you
connect with your feelings you can acknowledge them, only then can you decide if they serve you and if you want to keep them.
Your aim is to have your breathing strong, deep and in rhythm with your heart. It may take a few sessions to practice this. Once you have mastered breathing
to your heartbeat you have more strength to go within and feel your emotions.
It will give you more strength, energy, passion and vitality. It makes you more connected to yourself and in flow. Its amazing how much better you feel
when you are in rhythm with yourself and stop resistance.
Once I knew this and embraced this practice it allowed me to move from not focusing on my breathing or heartbeat and to allow my body to know what to do
to bring myself into line, in flow with myself.
My strategy when I wake too early is to feel my pulse on my wrist with my fingers, breathe with the rhythm and before I know it, I am back asleep again.
This might sound too easy but as I had tried everything else including a month of sleeping tablets to get by body clock sorted, I just had to share this
as it is a life saver for me. I needed more of a long term solution plus a better strategy.
Heart Rhythm Meditation (HRM) reduces stress and makes your conscious breathing in rhythm with your heartbeat. You want to feel like every part of your
body is like an orchestra playing in tune and in time and not like a magnet repelling against itself. Match your brain waves with your heart energy
and your will sync with yourself.
There are many different strategies with HRM. Breathe in for a few counts, hold your breath for longer and then slowly exhale for a few counts. I needed
more than just counting sheep as all I focused on was the numbers and then not the heartbeat. By syncing my breathing to my heart my mind stopped racing,
I has less interruptions, was more connected, had a better meditation session, had more energy and of course, more sleep.
Other meditations focus on other body parts like the nostrils when inhaling. However the most powerful tool I found, and wish I had learnt it sooner, was
getting my breathing in sync with my heart. Everything is a journey and I was ready to learn this and search deeper and found what worked for me.
Your heartbeat if your internal clock.
Your pulse is different to your heartbeat. Start by feeling your pulse, this creates awareness and the desire to learn more. When you breathe in rhythm
to your pulse you will start to feel your heartbeat when you lungs are full. Hold on to your inhaled breath. Once you have made these connections you
can allow your breathing to flow naturally as your body knows what to do, it is only your mind that is trying to fight with your body. Let go of your
control and learn to listen to yourself.
Feeling is more important than thinking.
I wish you the best meditation, breathe and connect with your heart energy. You are source energy and everything is energy.
Calm is the the fastest way to take control of any situation or circumstance, I had to discover the hard way how to get the calm I needed
at 4am. Please let me know on facebook how this helped. Your journey is as unique
as you. Take my free calm quiz and discover how to turn chaos into calm in 5