A Loving Practice to Drift to Sleep
How many nights have you lain awake, hopeful for a restorative night of slumber, only to find yourself locked and lost in the late-night hours of tossing, turning, and thought churning?
Yep, me too. This story played out for more sheep than I can count. I remember night after night rolling into days of groggy mornings, long afternoon naps, and an incredibly irritated digestive system that was begging me for sleep help and regularity.
A Sign of the Times
Looking back on it now, the themes that kept me from figuring out how to fall sleep successfully are glaring back at me loud and clear: isolation, uncertainty about my life, stress, loneliness, not enough physical activity (because, depression), no loving touch and work stress vs. creative expression. Sound familiar?
For so many of us, insomnia and poor stress management are common and recurring.
I was once in a relationship that had become distant and nearing the edge of a break. We slept in the same bed but didn’t touch. We walked past each other daily and didn’t share affection. It was a different kind of loneliness than being single in a studio apartment, but it was perhaps worse because of the potential that lived in the absence of the loving touch.
What Can Help You Sleep?
On some level, we all know that warm touch and being loved are soothing to our souls, whether it’s being gently lulled to sleep as a baby, being wrapped in a lover’s arms or cradling a pillow with a lingering smile as you remember a beautiful, joyful experience. Love heals all wounds — even sleepless nights.
As I furthered my journey of healing and learning, I realized that during those sleepless years, I had also internally lost touch with my own self. I was going through the motions of my life disconnected from my body. Without being in my body, I couldn’t feel and connect with the energy of love.
It’s easy to say that one should think loving thoughts, but if there is something keeping you from accessing that state of mind, or state of being, then the struggle to even get to the loving thought can cause anxiety.
When my clients tell me that not sleeping at night is having a huge impact on their lives, I don’t have to reach too far to understand their pain. Fortunately, I also understand a remedy through healing sleep meditation.
Breathing Into Love
When I work with clients who have trouble sleeping, I try my best to have their sessions at nighttime. Each client is unique and what they need each time will vary, but there’s an element of the technique that stays the same.
The next time you find yourself up at night unsure if you’ll be able to doze off, try these things to help you sleep:
- Relax into a restful breath.
- Then bring to mind a moment of feeling of love — it could be a memory from the past or a hope for the future.
- Breathe into it and make it as real as possible. Feel the energy of it expanding.
- Move that energy all throughout your body until you feel an overall sense of peace, ease, and grace.
- Hold it as long as you can and let it relax you into a restful slumber.
When you put these techniques together, you can create your own form of deep sleep meditation. At its core, your mind doesn’t distinguish between past, present, or future. That’s why memories and desires can have such a huge impact. They transport you into the reality of that experience as if it were currently happening. When I learned to be in the present moment and welcome in the energy that I needed, it made a world of difference.