yoga teacherBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

At one time, or another, all of us have experienced insomnia for any type of reason. There are times when lack of sleep just cannot be helped, such as: the loss a loved one, going through a divorce, and losing your job. These are some of life’s serious crisis situations, where we have to let time heal, and try not to fall apart in the process. Some of the solutions below will help insomnia, but they will not heal grief.

However, if you are continually staying awake over trivial matters, these solutions will aid you to get a good night’s rest. Remember – not every solution will work for everyone, so try the easiest ideas and make them fit into your lifestyle.

Do you have one or more problems, on your mind, that are troubling you at bedtime? If so, write it down and leave it on the kitchen table where you sit in the morning. This is a form of compartmentalization, where your subconscious mind works on a solution, and you and your conscious mind get some needed rest. You are literally leaving your problems on the table, rather than losing sleep over them.

You will be surprised what happens the following morning. The problem is much less important, you find a solution the next morning or your subconscious found the solution while you slept. This technique is so powerful that many successful people use it, even when they do not really have a problem. This keeps you organized, on a daily basis, and you will get more accomplished in life.

That leads into the next idea, which is establishing a daily routine. Your body has a natural cycle, and most of us ignore it. Modern humans are more out of tune with their bodies than ever before, so we have to get back to basics and design a schedule for all tasks – including sleep.

You should practice Yoga every day, but a vigorous Hatha Yoga routine should end two hours before bedtime, at the latest. This allows your body and mind cool down time. If you can practice Hatha Yoga earlier in the day, feel free to do so. Physical forms of Yoga training will give you extra energy during the day, and help you get a good night’s sleep, when you need it. If you do not exercise, have no worries, but do take action. Gentle and relaxing Yoga postures are a great way to start.

If you find the right Yoga teacher, you will learn controlled breathing (pranayama), stage-by-stage relaxation, and meditation. Each is a powerful technique for winding down before bedtime. You always practice controlled breathing with either, stage-by-stage relaxation, or meditation.  Some people practice stage-by-stage relaxation in bed and fall asleep in the process. This is not a bad thing, if your ultimate goal is to fall asleep.

Now let’s look at a few other ideas, such as avoiding alcohol and hidden caffeine. Alcohol has a way of getting you to sleep, but sleep is often interrupted during the night. One suggestion, if you enjoy drinking: Have just one small drink; preferably wine, with your meal.  Caffeine is in coffee, many teas, many sodas, and a variety of other drinks. Drink water later in the day, and give your body a rest from caffeine.

Here are a few actions to take before bedtime: Eat very light, read a book about something peaceful, practice gentle Yoga on your back, and take a shower or a bath. You don’t have to do everything, but one of the above-mentioned ideas will work for you.

Sweet Dreams.

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