sleeping baby in stripes for article on sleep by Dr Anne Malatt

Self-care programme 2022: 7. Sleep

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Welcome to Day 7 of 2022 and the opportunity to bring more love to your body and your life through the simple daily practice of self-care.

Today is a moment on sleep.

Practising self-care is not a time-consuming chore, but a way of being with yourself that cherishes the precious body that you have and the beautiful being it enhouses … so enjoy the process of developing this practice! It will revitalise you and bring a sense of lightness and joy to your body and being that you may not have felt for a while.

This year we are offering the space to (re)learn tools that take little time or effort, that don’t require you to go anywhere or do anything new, but which enrich the quality of the life you already live.

Each day for seven days we will offer a short introduction, some questions to reflect on, a short audio to listen to and an article to read … a few minutes of your day for just a week, which may well change the way you feel about yourself and life and ignite you for the year to come.

  1. Stop

  2. Breathe

  3. Be in your Body

  4. Move

  5. Eat

  6. Drink

  7. Sleep

At the end of each day, our body needs to rest. We can go without food and water for longer than we can go without sleep; it is a vital part of our day and takes up a large part of our lives. During sleep our body is very active in healing, restoring and regenerating from the impact of the day, and our minds dream to process the day and help us make sense of life. Lack of sleep is associated with a whole host of physical and mental diseases.

The hours of sleep between 9 pm and 1 am are the most healing and restorative, and if we miss this sleep boat, no amount of sleep ever seems enough.

Do we cherish our sleep and prepare ourselves for bed accordingly?

Do we honour the importance of the wind-down rhythm in the evening so that we take ourselves to bed in a quality that allows us to deeply rest and restore ourselves, waking feeling fresh, vital and ready for the day?

The quality we take ourselves to bed in, is determined by the quality in which we live our day; and the quality we wake up in, sets the tone for the day ahead, for we live life in cycles, and the way we are is the result of what has been and determines what is to come.

We have to start somewhere, and starting with the wind-down rhythm in the evening is a great place to begin.

If we have lived the day starting with a stop, breathing gently, being in our body, going for a walk and building a relationship with our body so that we are more able to feel the difference that each food makes when we eat it and each drink makes when we drink it, we will probably already be in a quality that will take us to bed feeling complete and ready to rest.

No matter what kind of day we have had, when we get home in the evening we can treat ourselves with tender loving care; eat and drink wisely so that we don’t feel too heavy, bloated or racy; spend time in gentle pursuits that don’t stimulate, distract or distress us; and build a quality of care in our bodies that starts to settle us. The later it gets, the less efficient we get, and even if there are things we still need to complete, they can always wait until morning. If we take ourselves to bed early, we will sleep more soundly and wake feeling refreshed and more ready to do what needs to be done.

However your day has been, make a start with self-care in the evening, and begin to practise a wind-down rhythm that prepares you for a sound and restful sleep. When practised every day (it does not always magically happen after just one night!) this will change the way you feel about yourself and life and bring more energy and joy to your life and to your quality of being.

Activity

Audio to listen to: Self-care moments: Preparing for sleep

Reflection

What is the quality of your sleep?

Do you wake feeling tired and wishing you could sleep all day?

Do you wake feeling refreshed, vital and ready for the day?

Can you sense that the way you feel in the morning has something to do with the way you lived the day before and the way you prepared yourself for bed?

Would you like to try something different today?

See 1-7 above!

Activity

Articles to read:  

Sleep – our daily medicine

The secret to sleep – go to bed early – when you can!

The art and science of repose

Enjoy practising these simple self-care tools, each and every day, and see what a difference they make in your lives. Feel free to write to us and let us know how you are doing with it, and the difference it is making to your quality of being. There are many resources on this site to support with the practice of self-care and we have linked to a few, but feel free to explore all that is here and if there is something else you would like us to offer, please write and let us know! These tools have made a great difference to our lives, and it is a joy to share them with you.

https://tomedicinewithlove.com/self-care/

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