I had a day last week where I woke up feeling quite tired. The night before was quite a restless night with lots of disturbances. With all of these disturbances that were playing out around me, and with me also having some tension in my body, it was difficult to fall back asleep.
Now usually, sleep for me is no problem at all. To my husband’s complete surprise, I am literally asleep within a couple of minutes after I close my eyes to then wake when it is time, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. I tend to be able to sleep through anything and if I am disturbed or have to get up, I usually fall back asleep straight away. So on this night, not being able to fall back to sleep was not a common occurrence by any means.
During that night, while I couldn’t sleep, I had no intention of getting up. I knew that the best thing I could do for my body was to let myself lay resting as much as possible. I supported myself by doing some Gentle Breath Meditation and some Esoteric Yoga techniques, letting myself feel my body and letting it surrender as much as possible. I did not fall back asleep for a few hours but then got two solid hours of sleep before having to get up. In the morning, I actually felt less refreshed as I had done during the night while I was awake. I had some dreams in this part of my sleep that felt quite draining. You know the sleep and dreams where you wake up and feel like you could sleep for 20 more hours?
I did supported myself by honouring the tiredness in my body. I got myself ready with the same level of space, time, dedication and care, I was present with my movements and gentle with myself. For example when I walked, I walked at a pace my body was calling for remaining presence with my steps and posture and when I drove, I stayed with feeling my body and how it was moving.
It was interesting to feel how not having a quality sleep, where my body gets to rest deeply and rejuvenate, put me on the back foot for starting my day. The quality I actually brought to my day and those within my day, was not at all what I know it to be. I can absolutely say that I was affected by not having a deeply restful sleep. I could feel at work that I was not as settled, as observant and patient within myself. I could feel how the day was more about me getting through it as best as I could while feeling tired and doing the best I could in my job. However, even though I was tired, I still held the awareness and importance of being responsible with the way I engaged with others and how I moved at work - knowing my reflection matters a great deal. The best I could do on this day even though I was not bringing my usual depth, was to not add a disturbance.
That night I made sure I did a very short and gentle exercise routine after returning from work, had a warm shower, put my pyjamas on early and ate a supportive meal before going to bed early. I also set my alarm a little later for the next morning in honour that I may need some extra sleep.
Well the next morning I felt like a new woman and could not even relate to what I felt like the day before. It was like day and night. I had a bounce in my step, my thoughts were clear, my expression was joyful, I was ready for the day and knew that the quality others would get from me that day would be a genuine level of care and engagement, and a complete joy and blessing.
These two days and two nights allowed me to truly understand the importance of sleep. I know I can go a whole day without food and it not affect my quality, my care for myself, and others, but this is not possible with sleep. Sleep is far more important than food even. . . Hmmm strange how we can deprive ourselves of sleep and some eat 6 times a day.
Sleep is the opportunity we give our bodies to take repose, to surrender, to clear, to refresh and rejuvenate - without it we are far less than we are designed to be. Everything in this world must take rest and adhering to this cycle and rhythm is not only supportive for the body but allows us to remain with our natural flow, respond in life as needed and fulfill our purpose with our true quality.
By Johanna Smith, Bachelor of Education (Major Special Needs, Minor Psychology), Graduate Certificate of Early Childhood, Studying Diploma of Counseling, Esoteric Complementary Health Practitioner, Woman, Teacher, Mother, Wife and Friend