October 13, 2013

I slept with the founder of Elephant Journal.

A lot. All the time, in fact.

…It was okay.

C’mon: you clicked that? You oughta be ashamed of yourself..!

Well, wisdom is better for us than gossipy titillation. So: I’ve noticed that a bunch of my pals don’t sleep well. Duh, you say? Well, from my fortunate vantage point—I’ve only suffered from insomnia once, for a brief stretch during college when my roomie failed to do laundry for a whole semester (pew) and kept me up all hours having fun—insomnia is easily avoidable.

A bunch of folks say…

1. don’t work in bed

2. no TV/phone/laptop in the bedroom

3. no caffeine after 5pm, or thereabouts.

…While those tips make buckets of common sense, I break all those rules, just about every day. Here’s the rules that I do follow, and would never break, because then I wouldn’t sleep like a sleepy baby.

My personal tips:

1. Go to bed whenever you like. If you’re out or up late, fine. If you’re ready for bed early, great. Do whatever you like in bed. Sex. Work. Movie. But: when you’re ready for bed, follow a simple ritual. That ritual is…

2. Turn off your wifi. Have it on a powerstrip and turn it off.

3. Meditate for at least a few minutes, and dedicate any merit from this day to others. Let go.

4. Brush your teeth, and while you do so, or before or after, go outside for a minute and look at the stars or a tree or the night…and breathe deep, if you can.

5. Always begin sleep in the same position. I like to prepare for sleep a la Huck Finn by the Mississippi: hands behind bed, smiling if you like, thinking over the day. Then, when fading, I turn to my side and get my pillow just so and meditate a second more and stretch out and boom, deep sleep.

6. Deep sleep which is uninhibited by my cell phone. Turn. It. Off. Not just airplane mode. Turn it off. If you can’t, get it outside of your room. At least seven feet away, I’ve been told. You will not fall into deep sleep if a part of you is waiting and ready for an emergency call. And remember: folks in the 90s somehow survived without cell phones by their heads all effing day long.

7. If you’re consistent about sleepytime, you can wake up with the light (leave your curtains open) at the same time each morning, without an alarm. I can do this like clockwork (not that I do, being my own boss, and tending to work way late).

More, from the experts:

Eight Great Insomnia / Sleeping Tip articles on elephant:

1. From Insomnia to Sleep Savvy. {Partner}
2. Why Can’t I Get to Sleep?\Turn On Your Sleep Switch Tonight. ~ Mike Bundrant
3. Too Hungry to Sleep? ~ John Douillard
4. Yoga for Peaceful Sleep – Counting Sheep. ~ Sara Elizabeth Ivanhoe
5. 10 Yoga Suggestions for a Sound Night’s Sleep.
6. 5 Yoga-Inspired Tools to Beat Insomnia II
7. Yoga vs. Insomnia by RR Shakti.
8. Can’t Sleep? Natural Remedies to Fight Insomnia. ~ Brigitte Mars

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