Consider how the following areas of your life can be impacted if you're not sleeping well:
- Your working day
- Reaching career goals
- Your physical and mental wellbeing
- Your relationships
- Your creativity
Spoiler alert: they're all impacted poorly.
This is the first of a series about enhancing our sleep.
Our quality of sleep can influence our lives profoundly, both asleep and awake. Everything can become more stressful if we don’t get enough sleep or sleep poorly. One reason for this is that lack of sleep has a direct impact on our brain's function.
In general, 7 to 8 hours sleep is recommended. However, the ideal amount differs from person to person. If you can’t get enough sleep at night, a short nap up to about 20 minutes, during the day may be beneficial. Clutter clearing and removing any disturbing images from the bedroom helps sleep come more easily.
We may increase our sleep quality by stopping using our mobile devices for at least 30-60 minutes before going to bed. It's also recommended that we sleep in a nice cool environment.
Consider diffusing essential oils like lavender and chamomile to enhance your sleep. Ensure good ventilation.
Have your dream journal ready to record your dreams when you awake, and kick start your active dreaming life.
I swear by blue silk pillows to help me sleep, and they keep my hair smooth too. Use the calming colors you love in the bedroom.
Another way to honour our dreams is to make a dream pillow. You can make a small or larger cloth pouch containing herbs like lavender, chamomile, and Mugwort to slip inside your pillowcase. Make sure the herbs are organic. Use the pillow only for dreaming. You may wish to keep it in a special box or covering and take it out only at night before bed. The fragrance will then be an intimate reminder of your dreams. In the morning, inhale the fragrance of your pillow, to revive your dream recall. You could even incorporate designs and symbols into your dream pillow, such as the Moon, a Celtic Tree of Life, or favourite animal.
It's optimal to be in a dark room, without light from outside or electronics inside. Consider leaving your phone or computer in another room or set them to sleep mode at night. Blue light filter bulbs and blue light filters on glasses at night can also help, as they screen out the blue light spectrum. Blue light signals the brain to stay awake. Also, some apps can adjust the screen color to avoid the light frequencies that keep us awake. A sunrise alarm clock can help by slowly introducing light similar to sunrise into our bedroom. I personally wear a sleep mask to reduces ambient light in the bedroom. I prefer a mask that applies pressure around the eye sockets, and not directly on the eyes themselves.
Listening to soothing music or sounds from nature can help us to naturally fall asleep. Some people play white or pink noise to set a neutral sound setting to fall asleep to, preferably with a timer so that we can limit the duration of the sound. Another way to reduce environmental sounds is to wear comfortable earplugs rated 32 or below, so you can still hear a fire alarm.
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