by Soul Essence New Eltham
We spend a third of our lives sleeping, yet so many of us struggle to sleep well. Poor sleep affects every part of our life, from our cognitive ability, sleepless nights leads to 40% less memory storage, weight loss, dieting is affected because our hormones become unbalance, deprived of sleep we lose muscle not fat. Even our immune function is affected, we have a 70% drop-in immune cell activity, after a night of poor sleep. It is said “we are not healthy, if our sleep is not healthy”.
Did you know only 200 years ago before artificial light, Biphasic sleep was common practice? This is the practice of sleeping during two periods over the course of 24 hours making up seven to nine hours sleep, people went to bed at sunset and woke in the early hours 1 and 2 am and were fully awake for approximately an hour, this time was spent praying, interpreting dreams, engaged in sexual activity, writing books and poems, sometimes visiting neighbours, and even milking cows. They would then go back to sleep and get up at sunrise. Now with artificial light, office jobs, and shift work we sleep using a monophasic routine of one approximate 8-hour block of sleep.
If you are someone who wakes up in the early hours wide awake, perhaps your circadian rhythm prefers the Biphasic sleep pattern. Try getting up and doing something relaxing for an hour reading a book (not on a screen) yoga, or meditating, maybe if you find ironing relaxing or another quiet housework chore you could do these. Then after an hour return to bed and go to sleep. This takes the stress away from looking at the ceiling and feeling guilty because you can’t sleep. Your insomnia may be as simple as accepting this hour or two of wakefulness, put it to good use and then go back to bed. You may need to change the time you go to bed so you can still get 7 to 8 hours sleep.
Using your breath to relax your parasympathetic nervous system.
The parasympathetic part of your autonomic nervous system balances your sympathetic nervous system. While your sympathetic nervous system controls your body’s “fight or flight” response, your parasympathetic nervous system helps to control your body’s response during times of rest.
One breathing exercise which is very good for relaxation is coherent breathing. Breathing in for 5 to 6 seconds and breathing out for 5 to 6 seconds. This gives us the exact 5 to 6 breaths a minute. This is a healthy breathing rate, doing this for 20 minutes a day has many benefits. If you can get your breath to leave a stressed state the other parts of your autonomic nervous system will follow, creating a reaction that will help to reduce stress, anxiety, and related health issues, including insomnia and lack of sleep.
There are many breathing exercises to help you relax so you can sleep.
Many of these will be shown and discussed on my package of meditations to help people sleep starting 12th January 2023 at 8pm. Cost £35 on the 12th of January or £10 per session.
In the new year I will also have a course you can buy to help with sleeping.