The other night I woke up at 3 in the morning and couldn’t get back to sleep, a relatively rare occurrence for me. My mind started firing, after having been in lullaby land, and didn’t want to shut up.
Have you noticed how time expands when you’re awake in the middle of the night? It’s said: A sleepless night is as long as a year. The mind keeps buzzing as sleep recedes more and more.
If sleeplessness is a regular event in your world, there are some sensible routines called “sleep hygiene” you might put in place. Any one or all of these may be useful:
• Go to sleep at a regular hour; around 10:00pm seems to work well.
• If you do wake in the night don’t turn on the lights as that stimulates your brain.
• Don’t watch television in bed; bed is for sleeping.
• Have your bedroom be as dark as possible.
• Avoid stimulants, such as coffee and tea, in the afternoon.
• Exercise during the day or early evening, but avoid exercise late at night, especially strong routines.
• Go for a gentle walk before going to bed.
• Eat lightly in the evening.
• Relaxing music or meditation may be helpful. Relaxation techniques such as Yoga Nidra are extremely useful.
• Breathing techniques de-stress and help you sleep.
If these great tips don’t help, you can do what a friend of mine does – have a power nap in the afternoon. Or, what I do – just one regenerative pose, like setu bandhasana or viparita karani, but held for around 10 minutes….