Lack of sleep can compromise our immune system, powers of attraction, concentration and the overall glow of being healthy. Today, one third of all Americans struggle with some form of insomnia and 40% of women have disrupted sleep patterns, which, according to The National Center on Sleep Disorders, could be caused by hormonal fluctuations during menstrual cycles, pregnancy and menopause. The rise of insomnia has recently spawned a surge in spa treatments, such as meditation, breathing exercises, special massage and aromatherapy, geared towards helping you drift off to dreamland. “We do not really go to sleep so much as we allow ourselves to let go of the active waking self,” explains Arizona-based sleep expert Dr Rubin Naiman. Here are some spa-inspired tips to help you let go of an overly stimulating day and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
1) Start winding down a few hours before your actual bedtime. Consciously leave all your must-do’s for the next day, reassuring yourself with a written list of reminders. Dim the lights, turn inwards and avoid all stimulation such as caffeine, alcohol, upsetting conversations, and violent TV shows.
2) Tune into the sound of your own breath or the cadence of soothing music. Run a warm (but not scalding hot) bath and soak by candlelight, inhaling a favorite blend of relaxing essential oils in the vapors.
3) Examine the nagging thoughts that keep you awake at night. Do you feel that by being on constant “fight or flight” alert you will better control outcomes? Switch to a new mantra: The more rest you get, the more efficient you can be.
4) Give up rigid expectations about how much sleep you require. Even nighttime wakefulness can be restful if you use it as a time for quiet meditation. The more you trust in natural processes and in life in general, the easier it will be to eventually get the right amount of sleep you really need.
5) Evaluate the quality of your waking life: are you living in alignment with your needs, wants and values? Is there something you need to express? A satisfying waking life is a potent remedy for many issues affecting sleep.
By Susan Reimer Torn, IAC-certified mentor coach, founder of Scentient Beings and self-proclaimed spa junkie.