It figures that life in the time of corona would be my best opportunity to catch as many Zzzzzs as I want, but I just…can’t…sleep…and I’m not the only one. So many people I’ve talked with share this affliction—whether it’s trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. What is it about this endless dormancy that is making us all insomniacs or should we call it coroniacs? It’s not that I don’t want to sleep, in fact it’s the opposite. Sleeping is my favorite. How can something I love some much be so unattainable? Why does sleep elude me?
It’s one of the most basic functions: Eat (Yep, got it). Drink (Nailed it). Sleep (Hold up, what’s going on here!?). The effects of sleep deprivation over time are detrimental and explained in depth in the audio book I’m listening to: Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker, PhD.
peace & quiet
You’ve heard this phrase…“I just want some peace and quiet!” Is that what would help us coroniacs get some shut eye? I actually think it might be. The operative word here is peace. If you’ve looked closely at my blog’s home page you’ll see it states my mission…my journey to inner peace. What does that mean anyway? For me inner peace is about quieting the internal struggle in my brain at all times. They say if you’re conflicted to sleep on it. I literally CAN’T sleep on it. My inner conflicts are what keep me awake. The fear-based voice (that worries about COVID, and home schooling, and work, and all the other adulting things) competes with the voice of inner wisdom and truth. The voice of truth whispers to me that I need to let go of worry and self-doubt. I can surrender and accept that life in the time of corona is full of growth and love.
Inner peace is about more than just happiness. In the book The Happiness Advantage, the author explores multiple definitions of happiness. The one I most align with can be traced back to Aristotle.
Eudaimonia, which translates not directly to happiness but to “human flourishing.”The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor
As the author explains, this definition equates happiness to more than just rainbows and butterflies. It’s what I’ve been tuning into, as well. Happiness holds space for growth.
Back to sleep. I’ve been working on clearing some of the blockages that have kept me up at night. This self-inquiry is allowing me to process some of the unresolved things that turn into thought spirals. If you’re not there yet on your journey, here is a summary of other sleep preparation aids (or winding down tools) I’ve found to be effective or others have recommended:
- Proper nutrition, exercise and vitamins – these are table stakes (if you’re not there yet, let’s talk)
- Meditation and/or breath work
- Goodnight Yoga – @yogasweetheart has a 6-week online program
- Yoga Nidra aka yogic sleep – my personal fave (@GabbyBernstein has a great guided-practice)
- Soak in a tub (I use epsom salts in mine to help with muscle soreness, as well) or perform any other nightly self-care that soothes you
- Avoid eating late at night
- Avoid alcohol – sorry, it’s true and it’s a game changer (I know it sucks, but I don’t know anyone that sleeps well after drinking); drink some decaf Sleepy Time tea instead
- Melatonin (didn’t work for me, but others have had success)
- Limit screen time and/or use blue light reduction glasses
- Diffuse essential oils (so many options on scents! Lavender is great for night time) and / or have background white noise
- Read a book, like an actual book with pages
I’ve been so humbled to speak and/or trade messages with readers that connect with my voice. You may not realize it, but you are my tribe. Whether you reach out to me or not, if these blogs resonate with you, you’re my people.
The following words came to me post-meditation this morning and are for anyone that might be feeling alone on their journey.
Be aware and don’t be afraid. Seek truth and accept it. Let go. Listen. Let go, again. Rebuild. It hurts. You’re not broken, even if you feel like it. You have a tribe, even if you don’t see us. You are not alone. We are your tribe now. All you need to do is let us in. We welcome you in. Allow. Accept. Appreciate.
Sending peace & love to you all. Stay weird, my friends, and don’t forget to BREATHE!