Sleep…the Universal Healer
My blog post yesterday about losing sleep and almost losing my mind seems to have hit a nerve. I have received several emails today and had clients come in sharing about similar experiences.
It is interesting how quickly we take a good night’s rest for granted – until it is no longer there. For those of us who generally sleep well this “take it for granted” thing is much more likely. My friends who are light sleepers or restless sleepers rarely take their sleep for granted.
What they tend to do instead is to forget that their irritability or their lack of clear-headedness or energy is about their sleep deficit. They may automatically start to attribute it to some character flaw in themselves. Or, if they are so inclined, blame everyone else for being such idiots (because they are constantly doing such irritating behaviors.)
But no matter what side of the fence you reside on, good sleep is so important. My friend and colleague, Dr. Rachel Abrams, does a great lecture on what it takes to be healthy and in balance. The number one thing on her list is, you guessed it, good sleep – the capacity to rest deeply on a regular basis.
So what can you do if your nervous system tends to stay on “red alert”? This is a major impediment to good sleep. Finding ways to dial down the “red alert” button is paramount. Good self-care is the foundation for that capacity.
Also, learning how to get your adrenal glands to slow down and relax, so that the adrenaline output is not so high is an extremely helpful tool to use. My favorite self-care tool for this is to heat up an herbal wrap and sleep with it draped across my lower back. The warmth and calming scent help my adrenals to relax and slow down. My herbal wrap is flat – about 5 inches wide and about 12 inches long. It nestles perfectly into the small of my back, where the adrenal glands rest on top of the kidneys, which allows for maximum therapeutic effect. The wrap naturally cools off as I drift off to sleep – which is important. You don’t want an electric heating pad which stays on and can overheat your system.
So give it a try tonight, even if you are not on “red alert”, and let me know how it works for you. And, enjoy!
Tomorrow I will give hints on what to do if your mind is going a million miles per hour and keeping you awake.