Sleep and I have a long, tumultuous history together. Like most people, my phases of good sleep and bad sleep fluctuate, but bedtime was something I consistently detested when growing up. I remember my childhood bedtime, being tucked in by my parents, only to burst into their bedroom hours later because I couldn’t fall asleep. They couldn’t believe that I would just be lying there, eyes shut, in my bedroom for hours and still be awake. What was wrong with this child?
I attribute much of my sleep stress to my former inability to relax. High school was undoubtedly the most stressful time of my life, staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning just to finish an assignment, then wake up for school a few hours later. In my high stress culture, falling asleep was not a harmonic ritual to recap the wonderful parts of my day; it was a nightly reminder that I couldn’t do everything I needed to do, so the guilt literally kept me up at night. I didn’t understand then that sleep is the best gift I can give my body.
Lately I’ve been sleeping well. I’ve been sleeping reallllly well. Part of that has to do with my new mattress (thanks, Charise + Brent), but another part of the equation might be the sleep meditations I’ve been playing at bedtime. Charise and I are admittedly skeptics of traditional meditation–not that we disagree with its aims, but because it is such a challenge for us to find the stillness to meditate properly in our day-to-day. Now, with this meditation, I find myself in my pitch-black room and a man or woman’s soft voice cradling me to sleep, not even realizing until the next morning that I didn’t listen the whole way through.
Let me recommend some to ya:
1. This soulmate meditation is a combination of meditation and hypnosis. I love how much attention it calls to specific areas of the body, making me feel at ease in my bed.
2. This timed meditation platform always comes through for me, especially when deciding specific nature sounds and music.
3. This Yoga Nidra sleep meditation has a peaceful tone, which is a little more light compared to the previous ones.
What’s the consequence of these? Not only do I wake up feeling like I actually slept, but the amount of nightmares I have has decreased considerably. On a more (*yas*) note, my mind has been so free to play as a result of this serenity that I’ve been having a ton of makeout dreams! Yes, henny, there are other fringe benefits to falling asleep more healthily; your dreams may reward you for your diligence.