We all love that song from Annie Lenox. If you are anything like us, sleep is at the top of the list for staying healthy, in synch with body, mind and soul, and in our best mood. Miss a night's sleep and watch out world, grumpy, irritated, tired and anxious like a zombie version of ourselves.
Some of us have no trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, the issue is more likely to be having enough time to sleep. But for others, the moment we lay our heads down, our thoughts emerge from the shadows and layer our desire for self care and self love with moments of profound doubt, questioning and even self loathing. When we seek the calm, the calm speaks back, often times so loud that sleep becomes elusive.
When we were kids the comfort of our parent by our side, a story read out loud, a prayer or a stroking of our hair or backs gently comforted us into a state of trust, a moment of receiving love, and this alone was enough. As adults we need to go back to these gentle gestures and re-create for ourselves a perfect night sleep.
It just so happens that one of my closest and dearest friends, Rebecca Litwin is the Queen of Down. Over the years I have been blessed with the opportunity to collaborate, co-create, travel and test many of her products. I bow down to the Queen. Her book "Roll into a Perfectly Made bed: All you need to know about the Art of Bedmaking". Rebecca wrote this book for the workers around the world who make beds every day for a living, as well as for the homemakers who make beds every day for their families. She firmly believes a great night’s sleep is the best medicine for the tired body, soul, and mind. After years of accumulating knowledge on the subject, she finally put her thoughts on paper so that the generations to come can benefit from my expertise on how to achieve the perfectly made bed. The illustrations are divine and done by Keiran McCann, who happens to be my daughter and our favorite illustrator.
I am a great sleeper, and good student of sleep, thanks to Rebecca sharing her knowledge with me, but have had, during a period, suffered from poor sleep and hope to share some of my tips for a great night's sleep with you here.
A good night's sleep is an intentional practice
Just like managing your moods, getting ready for bed requires rituals and steps. By developing a multi step bedtime routine you can hit the pillow and rest is assured.
Take a Hot Bath
Imagine your day as a series of challenges, obstacles, dark clouds, rays of sunshine. You have been on a journey. Make time to wash it all away. We collect energy throughout the day, some of it, not even ours! So washing it away will not only assure that you hit the sheets with clean skin, but also a cleansed mind. While in the bath ( a shower will do too!), imagine your day, take note of what is to be kept and what is to be discarded, and in your mind's eye see it all in instant replay, morning till evening. Like a browser, open tabs with the events that pop up in your mind. If you feel emotions, that's fine, just notice them. Thank these moments and then again in your mind, close all the tabs. You can be dramatic and shut the whole browser, or gently close each tab. Imagine the entire set of screens falling into the water and when you see the water go down the drain, know you have left behind the traces of your day that are non essential. I apply, generously, tranquillity to me forehead, palms, and body and rub in the oils. I breathe in deeply as I step into the bath, the scent surfacing in the water, the little oil bubbles collecting and dispersing like tiny little memories.
Meditate and Contemplate Before Bed
The perfect time to meditate is up to you. But its always time to contemplate. By bringing awareness to our thoughts and beliefs we can understand uncertainty, and move towards gratitude and acceptance. Each of these practices falls under the banner of self care, but in fact they are anchored in self love. From prayer, to journaling, practicing love is the key to a great night's sleep. Thanking ourselves, our families, our universe, our god, our friends and co-workers is a reminder that there is more to each day than meets the eyes. Asking for what we desire most, even if it is help or relief or riches or ideas, everything is possible in the moment where we surrender to our higher power. To help you get to that place after a busy day requires practice. My little helper is my Clarity Chakra Boost. Herbal and aromatic, sacred and healing, Clarity supports vision and manifestation. With top notes of tulsi, frankincense, and myrrh, the sacred oils, I can anchor my breath through scent memory.
Roll into a Well Made Bed
If you are anything like me your bed is a sanctuary, a place you go to be safe and sound. My bed is a home away from home. It is my escape hatch. I go there to rest, to cry, to read, to snuggle with my dog, to hold my loved ones, to birth not only my dreams but my next day. I personally need the best bedding. That includes down duvets, lovely cotton sheets, the right pillows and the right temperature. I change my bedding in the Spring and again in the Fall. If you don't already make your bed in the morning consider doing so. Not just because your mother told you so, but because the act of pulling down the sheets to enter into bed is a gift. So treating your bed like a present, one that you can unwrap to crawl into to leave the day behind, is so worth it. And you deserve the best. So treat yourself to yourself. Rebecca taught me a lot about bedding quality, sizes, materials, If you want to learn more about how to upgrade your bed check out her many blogs on everything from thread count to pillow protection. I keep my favorite Room Boosts by my bed and spray them on my sheets and pillows. As I place my head down on my Down etc sheets (I told you I am a huge fan), I ask that breathe to cradle me and protect me. I ask for quiet dreams, vivid ones too. I marvel at the idea, that just like a bear who hibernates, I will go somewhere, far away, dream-like for many hours (that is the hope) and emerge rested, inspired and whole.
Well known for its chemical properties that relieve stress and anxiety, Lavender essential oils are a key ingredient in our chakra, mood and room boosts. Lavender is calming, balancing and relaxing. It has a strong top note aroma that is rich, fruity, and a mellow floral scent. It is anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, decongestant, relieving, soothing, soothing and a nervine. We use a special tri-blend of French, Bulgarian and Nepalese species.
We hope you are inspired to make your bedtime your time. Remember! Adoring yourself means caring for yourself an creating special moments with you that are breath-taking and intentional. We hope you will sleep with us and invite us to be a part of your dreamscape.