Can't Sleep? Here are 5 Ways to Minimize Sleep Deprivation
Updated: Jul 28
In normal times, sleep is not always easy to come by however right now, we are not in normal times, and because of that, I have heard from many people that having a solid night of sleep is a struggle. It is summertime so the sun is out longer, many people are working from home making it hard for them to turn the work off and walk away, and so many other distractions making it hard to shut down at night. Sleep is so important and sleep deprivation can cause many health issues which is why we are discussing this topic in sessions, this being our third. We started with why sleep is important and last week we talked about how to set yourself up for a good night's rest with some sleep hacks. If you are still having trouble with sleep then today is for you!
FIVE WAYS TO FALL ASLEEP FASTER
1. Mind dump
If you are like me, sleep is often hard because my mind will not shut off. This can cause a whole cycle of staying up past 10 o'clock, experience a second wind, and before we know it is extremely late which causes a miserable morning. Or you fall asleep, wake up in the middle of the night, and then struggle to fall back to sleep. If you are experiencing too many thoughts like I did not get everything done that I wanted to today or I forgot to do this/that.
HOW: One of my favorite tricks is to write it all out, a mind-dump if you will. You can use a pen and paper or write it all out in one of your devices. This is also a great way to give yourself a to-do list for the next day, let it go, and create solace to allow yourself to get the sleep you need.
2. Massage your feet
Not only does a foot massage feel good and is relaxing but your feel also correlates to the rest of your body. If you have heard of reflexology then you may have some idea of how this works. Your feet map out to the rest of your body. If you are suffering from sleep deprivation then you will not want to give yourself a full body massage because you will be too tired.
HOW: Massaging your feet can be done while sitting in bed using a warm oil for just a few minutes. Just enough time to relax and set yourself up for a good night's sleep.
3. Chant positive mantra
We all have a mantra going on in our minds all day long. If we repeat it enough, it becomes our personal prayer. Whatever that prayer may look like for you whether it just be deep breaths, a sound, a goal, religious prayer, etc... it can be relaxing if you just zone in on that mantra.
HOW: If you are sleeping with a partner then making noise may not be ideal but if you are sleeping alone or your partner is not asleep then making a noise such as a hum, sleep deep breaths, and eyes closed will start to feel grounded and relaxed.
4. Drink spiced milk
Although it may be too hot during the summer months, warm spiced milk is a great way to boost immunity. Milk has a grounding quality that allows us to quell the hamster wheel of the mind. If you can't sleep, I recommend a half cup of milk warmed with grounding spices like nutmeg or saffron. Golden milk is another great option. And for those who are vegan, you can substitute with oat milk or another mylk (non-dairy) alternative. Although mylks are not as heavy, they still provide some of the qualities that can lull you back to bed.
"Cow milk has 10 properties viz. sweetness, coldness, softness, unctuousness, density, smoothness, sliminess, heaviness, slowness and clarity. These are also the properties of ojas. So milk having identical properties is conducive to the promotion of ojas. Thus, milk is an elixir par excellence." —Caraka Saṁhitā, Sū. 27/19
5. Listen to your body
If you are finding yourself waking up early in the morning, then listen to your body and go with the flow instead of fighting it. I do not recommend getting up before 4 am if you do not have to. This morning, I woke up around 3 am and laid in bed until 4 am, decided not to fight it, and got up. By not laying in bed, I started my day early but also ended my day early, too.
HOW: Take advantage of that extra time that you normally do not have. You can do a short workout, take a bath, watch the sunset, etc... Anything, after 4 am, is fair game!
TAKE ACTION TO END SLEEP DEPRIVATION
If you have not read or watched the videos from the last two sessions I suggest going back as there is a lot of useful information as to why sleep is important and some hacks to set yourself up for a good night's rest. If you are having trouble sleeping, I invite you to implement one, few, or all of these 5 ways to end sleep deprivation or at the very least, avoid it.
Keep a pad next to the bed for a mind-dump OR gratitude journal
Drink spiced milk
Listen to your body and just get up!