Ideally, one-third of our lives, 8 hours out of every 24, are spent sleeping. Insomnia, the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep is a huge challenge for many of us. This post is all about getting sweet sleep.

Sleep is not just physically restorative, it is spiritually restorative. Sleep is the time the body heals, the mind digests (let me sleep on it!) and the spirit inspires.

And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.
~D.H. Lawrence

I want to share a a very calming, nurturing, and centering exercise with you. It is simple and short. This exercise is practiced before falling asleep and is great for everyone including our young children and our elderly.

The Sweet Sleep exercise may or may not cure insomnia or nighttime stress, but it will definitely sweeten your soul and sweeten your sleep. A paradox lives in the sweet sleep exercise as it celebrates your waking life while enriching your sleeping life.

You quietly celebrate what you receive each day, what you accomplish each day and then whisper to your soul your intentions for the following day.

the sweet sleep exercise…

I suggest you journal this exercise or speak it out loud to yourself or your partner or better – both write and speak the three parts:

Reflect on your day and recognize:

at least 3 “things” you are grateful for…

These are not “things” that occurred through your efforts. They exist through grace and generosity. Recall anything that was present during the day, however briefly, that supported or enriched your existence. You might recall something natural like a cloud, a flower, the feel of a breeze against your skin – or perhaps a statement of wisdom or beauty. A smile from a stranger. The sweetness of a piece of fruit. A surprise call from a friend.

at least 3 personal accomplishments…

accomplishments that required your efforts and will forces. These are three ways you made a contribution to the world. Ideally these are completions of deeds or completions of a stage of a deed. Something neat and complete, not a great, but unfocused or unfinished effort. You did the dishes. You kissed your children. You read a chapter of a book. You finished a project at work. You attended a meeting.

at least 3 intentions for the next day…

again these are actions that require conscious and focused will efforts. Do not wish or desire here. Intentions are a commitment to engage your will and deliver to the world. These can be simple or complex, be easy or a stretch, but make sure you can actually, fulfill the intention. You are free here to be self-aware. You may intend to take a nap. Call a friend. Look at the moon. Weed for 15 minutes. Take your supplements. Don’t do this as if you were making a to-do list, rather create a list of focused and enthused intentions.

I suggest you carry out this exercise with a sense of reverence as if you are saying/writing a nightly prayer. You are preparing your soul for sleep. Your self-celebrating feelings are the guide. You are alive and life is good. Life has contributed to your joy and your accomplishments are of value to you and to others.

This is an exercise that strengthens your will from your heart. It is actually an opening conversation with the spiritual world, your angel, and God that leads to a fabulously restorative sleep.

withdrawing from all things tech before sleep…

On a strictly earthly, tech plane: Turn everything with a screen or a light off early!

I have lived with TV screens my whole life and with computer screens for the last 20 years. Everywhere I go in my home there are little lights on clocks and gadgets telling me time is passing and the power is on. All the walls in my apartment are filled with wires pulsing with electrical power. I don’t know if all this power is harmful (I write with my laptop on my lap and every now and then I worry.) and I certainly couldn’t live without my utilities no matter what they emit. However, I do know that this tech world is very stimulating and not natural nor nurturing.

Sleep needs a natural, calm and dark environment. Our eyes need to gradually experience darkness to stimulate the inhibitory neurotransmitter activity needed for sleep. If you spend your nighttime surrounded by lights and staring a screens that present rapidly moving images and bright colors, you may have difficulty falling or staying asleep and you are definitely stressing your neurological system.

Commit to turning off all screens for at least 30 minutes before you get in bed. My dream goal is no computers or TV’s after 7PM. If 30 minutes seems too long, begin with 10 minutes and extend it by 5 minutes each week. Pixel images are addictive, so treat your TV and Computer needs as addictions – be easy with the withdrawal.

Buy some black tourmaline chips and place on or near all your tech equiupment. You can tape a small stone on on your cell phone.

Another option is to buy some Black Tourmaline Gem Elixir or Essence. I recommend www.alaskanessences.com. The essence bottle can be kept by your bed and will absorb all electro-magnetic forces near it.

let the bees sweeten your sleep…

A lovely nighttime ritual is the lighting of a beeswax candle while you do the Sweet Sleep Exercise and any other evening meditations. Beeswax candles do not drip – they disappear into the air as the flame burns. More importantly they emit negative ions which relax the body and support soul harmony. Bees maintain a constant temperature in the hive by beating their wings. The mood of an even temperament and emotional equanimity is truly felt in the presence of a burning beeswax candle.

Also the gentle light of a candle is very soothing to your eyes and the nervous system. It generates lots of GABA, the calming neurotransmitter. The candle flame will sweeten your sleep. Just remember to blow out the candle before you lie down in bed.

bedroom or sleeping room…

A bedroom is a room with a bed. A sleeping room is a room devoted to the activity of sleep. I have a bedroom. It has a bed in it – but it has a lot of other stuff in it, too. The bed is there for sleep, but all the other stuff is not conducive to the activity of sleep. My bedroom is a dressing room, a TV room, occasionally an office (I love writing with my legs stretched out), a laundry folding room, a collection space for books, newpapers, magazines, a manicure salon, a dining room and an everythingelse room.

I long for a sleeping room. Sleep is truly a sacred activity. If you could have a room just for sleeping, what would it be like? This is the question I will leave you with. Please post your thoughts on a room for nurturing sound and restorative sleeping. A room for sweet dreams. Just click on the word comments.