Express Feelings Heals Sleep

From “The Healing Show” Series #08: How to Heal Sleep

I thoroughly know what it’s like to lose sleep for days and months and years on end. It makes me tired just writing that! But seriously, if you’re not having a good sleep every night, life during the day feels much harder.

Most people who have sleep problems wake between 1am and 6am. This excludes the alarm set for work and things like that. I’m talking about ‘unnatural’ wake times, like waking at 2am or 4.30am.

When you are waking at night, do pay attention to the times that you’re waking up in. Are you always waking at 2am? Are you always waking at 4.30am?

I say this because your body is on a clock. I’m not talking about the body clock that seems to get set because of the daily alarm and even on holidays you’re automatically waking at 6.30am. I’m referring to the organs in your body having their peak time of functioning and they occur in two-hour time blocks, eg. Liver time is between 1- 3am.

The reason I’m talking about ‘organ’ time is because each organ is associated with certain emotions, eg. The emotions related to the liver are to do with anger and resentment. This can be a key for you to figure out why you’re waking at certain times and not at other times. Effectively, by recalling the time you’re awake and linking it up with the emotions of that time slot, you can help yourself heal your sleep problems.

Emotion Times:
1-3 am Anger and resentment.
3- 5am Grief, guilt and regret, in an acute sense.
5- 7am Grief, guilt and regret, in a less acute sense.

Let’s talk about feelings for a minute…

From a metaphysical point of view, when you suppress your feelings, bad things happen, like you get sick or… have sleep problems. Any suppressed emotion, when suppressed hard enough and long enough will cause health problems. Sleep problems are included in this.

Why are you suppressing your feelings?

Because most of us came from dysfunctional families, where our parents/ guardians didn’t ask us how we were feeling. Most of us didn’t experience our parents asking us how we were, how we felt about school, friends, them as parents, other family members, whether we were happy, fulfilled or if we wanted to change anything. Most of us never got our feelings supported, discussed, addressed or healed.

What happened to most of us as children was that our feelings got ignored. So we grow up ignoring our own feelings and suppressing them.

If you pay attention to the times when you’re awake, you can learn about what feelings you’re suppressing, therefore, you can help yourself express those particular feelings with friends and therapists, instead of ignoring them which can lead to sleep problems.

If you’re always waking at 2am, then you must be really angry about something. You will need to explore: who makes you angry?
What made you angry?
It’s normally a ‘who’, not a what.
Who is making you feel resentful?
What have they done?

If you’re waking at 3.30am, then you’re feeling grief, guilt or regret in an acute sense. What are you feeling sad about?
Who is making you sad?
What are you feeling guilty about?
Who is making you feel guilty?
What are you regretting?
Who are you regretting?

If you’re waking across all emotion time slots, then you will need to explore all the feelings: anger, resentment, acute and less acute grief, guilt and regret.

The anger or grief with somebody may have happened weeks, months, years, even many years ago… You may have been really sad about something that happened 15 years ago, but you’ve never healed from it and the fact that you’re still waking in grief time since all those years ago, proves that.

You may have been angry about somebody since a few months ago and since then, you’re always waking in anger time.

In order for you to heal your sleep, an important step is to explore your feelings and express them with somebody who will listen to them properly and understand them and support them.

As your feelings get aired, discussed and supported, there are less feelings to suppress. If there are less feelings to suppress, then your sleep won’t get disturbed or your sleep won’t get disturbed for as long as it normally does.

Express your feelings and heal your sleep problems.

How To Heal Sleep – Part 7

Series: How To Heal Sleep – Part 7

“Meditation Not Healing Your Sleep Fast Enough?”

In a previous message about healing your sleep, I talked about a meditation that works for sleep problems.

Listen to that episode here » Meditation for a Better Nights Sleep

You may be doing this meditation, but you could also be wondering what you’re doing wrong because your sleep is not improving at the rate you want.

There a few aspects to the meditation that you must adhere to, if it’s going to work for you:

  1. You must do it daily;
  2. You will probably need to increase the time to more than my recommended 5 minutes;
  3. You need to focus properly on all the components;
  4. You have to -want- to do this, in general.

1) Daily Meditation.

This meditation will help you get out of your head, where all the worries are! It will help you achieve the peace you need within yourself, in order to have a better sleep.

The peace within you, needs to be built up to a level that will cause improved sleep. I can’t say what this level is for you, everybody is different. This is why meditation needs to be done daily, in order to achieve the level of peace necessary, as fast as possible.

Practicing meditation, is like working a muscle. If you don’t work a muscle, it’s not going to strengthen. Every day that you don’t do muscle strengthening exercises, your muscle generally deteriorates.

Just like strengthening a muscle, when you don’t practice meditation daily, especially for the purposes of improving your sleep, the strength of your inner peace drops. If your inner peace drops below a certain level, you’re not going to experience improved sleep as a result of meditation.

Daily practice of meditation will imbed peace within you to a deeper level.

2) How many minutes of meditation are you doing?

I initially recommended five minutes, because most people aren’t used to meditating.

Five minutes is more achievable and an easier time to concentrate for.

You will probably need to increase the time you meditate for, from five minutes to ten or higher, because the peace within you might not be building to the necessary levels at five minutes daily.

I wouldn’t jump from five minutes to thirty minutes (my recommended daily maximum) of daily meditation, because you need to work w-i-t-h yourself on this, and increase the length of time slowly and incrementally. No use doing meditation for thirty minutes, if most of the time, you can’t focus on what you’re doing. You’re better off just doing ten minutes properly.

Most people who meditate as a serious practice, whether for improving sleep or not, do more than five minutes. And most of these people will tell you, that meditation for five minutes a day, can’t properly achieve what you want.

3) Each meditation component is necessary to focus on properly.

If you’re going to build the necessary level of peace that’s needed to sleep better, all components of the meditation need to be done, and simultaneously.

If you’re sitting there, trying to concentrate in your meditation and you’re focusing on one element but forgetting the other two elements, it won’t work as well for you. You may as well not do the meditation if you’re going to allow yourself to wander in your mind, sorry to sound harsh, but it’s true.

You need to sit down for your meditation with the clear intention that you are going to focus as best you can, for the required time you choose. Having that intention will make a difference, believe me.

BREATHING – Proper breathing needs to be done throughout: inhaling through your nose, stomach inflating like a balloon and exhaling through your mouth.

HEART FOCUS – Determined attention on your heart: your mind needs to be there, at your heart, at your chest.

I AM – Repeating the words I Am silently in your mind: as simple as these words are, they can get slurred and suddenly feel hard to ‘hear’ internally. But they need to be said clearly, while doing the other two components, all at the same time.

It can sound like a lot, but that’s what people think when they first learn to drive a car. Over time, you know what to do and how to do it better.

4) You have to WANT TO do this self care for yourself to help heal your sleep.

You could pop pills and see expensive specialists and generally look outward for the so-called answers to better sleep, but you’re left with yourself at the end of the day and you need to discover w=h=a=t you’re doing right to heal yourself, by yourself.

Self reliance is a harder road to follow, but much more rewarding in the long run, because it builds strength and fulfillment in ways that following easier roads will never achieve. Well done if you are trying to heal your sleep naturally.

By following the suggestions above, you’re likely to improve your sleep because you’re taking this whole matter seriously and your desire to heal is your vehicle to get you there.

For episode #5 where I outline the mediation… Click Here – http://benitafrench.com/recordings/how-to-heal-sleep-part-5/

How To Heal Sleep – Part 6

Series: How To Heal Sleep – Part 6

“I can’t sleep now, I’m not tired enough.”

Without going into all the possible deep and meaningful reasons as to why you’re not sleeping, what could you be doing that =is= within your control, to negatively affect your sleep?I aim this question at your ‘sleep switch’ that may only go on in certain circumstances and not others, namely, you fall asleep only when you’re completely exhausted. Your sleep switch doesn’t go on if you’re ‘just’ tired. How did this happen?
You probably know how this happens, because you had a thought in your head which was: I could go to sleep now, but… I’ll just call a friend… I’ll just watch a bit of a movie… I’ll just step out of the house for a bit… I’ll just have something to eat… There goes the sleep window of opportunity.
Doing the above, means that you’ve successfully pushed yourself passed when you were tired enough to go to sleep, maybe that time was 9.30pm and after you’ve finished playing around, it’s 12am when you’re lying in bed feeling irritated, asking yourself “why aren’t I sleeping!”.
You’ve made the choice, maybe without realizing it, to grow more tired and possibly to the point of exhaustion. Your sleep switch in future nights, is now going off at ‘exhaustion’ level rather than ‘tired’ level.
As an adult, you can make the mistake of thinking that you can handle not sleeping enough because “other people manage it and they can function, if I can’t I must be a woos, so I better take it in my stride” yet you still feel exhausted by the time you go to sleep. Not a nice feeling, nor is sleep deprivation when you wake up, it feels like a hang over!
Whether you’re living by yourself or with family or in a relationship, it’s still up to you at the end of the day, literally, to act on your tiredness and go to sleep, rather than be lax and not take it seriously.It can feel wrong or weird or just too early to go to bed at 9pm or 10pm, but they’re just your judgements and those can be changed.There’s a great saying I heard and interesting that it is a ‘saying’, it should just be the fact that everybody lives by: Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired.

Sounds simple doesn’t it. The saying doesn’t state ‘only sleep when you’re exhausted’… that’s a bad habit you’ve got yourself into.
Take control of the aspects of your sleep that you can take control of. Be aware of yourself. When you notice your tired, when you have a thought about going to sleep, act on it! Do it! Watch yourself make the choice to eat or watch a movie, decided against it. Retrain your sleep switch to go on when you’re just tired, not exhausted. Retrain the time when you go to sleep.

Signing off… Zzzz…

How To Heal Sleep – Part 5

Series: How To Heal Sleep – Part 5

“Heal Your Sleep With This Meditation That Works.”

You’ve arrived…! Hello! Let’s talk about what you’ve always wanted, a specific thing you can do to improve your sleep that WORKS!!! It’s called meditation, but not just any meditation: The Breathing, Heart Focus, I Am meditation method.

If you want to go to sleep and stay asleep and wake refreshed, do this meditation everyday and over time you WILL achieve the sleep you want. At the least, your sleep WILL improve.

I have outlined this meditation method under the heading: How To Meditate At Home, but I’ll repeat it here anyway, using the context of sleep to explain the impact of this powerful meditation. Also because, some people who have a sleep problem won’t necessarily look into meditation as a way of solving it.

You need to develop peace, calm, stillness and well being in yourself and it can’t be obtained from anybody or anything ‘out there’ as such. And you can develop this peace in the practice of and through the discipline of this meditation.

The things that are going to keep you awake the most, are problems with loved ones, but not forgetting the general sense of having way too many thoughts in your head and not being able to slow down. This meditation will achieve your slowing d…o…w…n.

It can be so enormously frustrating, not having slept properly for months or maybe years. You can feel like you’re at the end of your energy and patience with everything, you’re praying for a break, you’re gonna go nuts. I get it! Help yourself by implementing this meditation immediately and daily.

It has three components:
Breathing- inhaling through your nose, stomach inflates, exhaling through your mouth, stomach deflates and keeping that rhythm going;
Heart- focusing on the space at your chest where your heart is, bringing your attention there. Not at the top of your chest, but toward the bottom, in the middle, but not so far down that you’re at your stomach;
I Am- hearing the words “I Am” in your mind over and over, silently, while at the same time, breathing and focusing on your heart.

You can listen to all the different ways those three components are effective in How To Meditate At Home and in those future recordings, or for the moment, you can just take my word for it.

Just to touch on it, the words ‘I Am’ are very powerful, there’s peace in your heart and the breathing will settle your body and get you out of your head.

You might not notice a dramatic improvement in your sleep after doing this meditation once, but you WILL notice your sleep improving over time by doing this meditation daily.

If meditating isn’t normal for you, if you have problems sitting still and being in one place and not ‘doing’ anything, it might take you a while to get these aspects of yourself in order before the meditation can take effect to heal your sleep.

Start with as many minutes as you can each day, but you will need to do this meditation for -at least- 5 minutes =every= day in order to get results. Start with 1 minute, then work up to 3, then 5, potentially 20 minutes a day will be the ultimate. But just start where you can, it’s not a race and no force or strain required 😉

As your sleep heals, you’ll be able to do all those things that ‘normal’ people seem to do: have focus and energy and interest in life again. You’ll feel such relief and happiness when you’re sleep improves and everything will feel easier. So… get into it… breathing, heart focus, I Am meditation.

How To Heal Sleep – Part 4

The “Being Happier” Podcast

Today’s Topic: How To Heal Sleep – Part 4

Prioritise Your Sleep Time

If you are going to take control of healing your sleep, you need to do all you can to achieve that. So what does that mean?

You need to decide to take your sleep healing seriously and prioritise a time by which to wind down and then ultimately be asleep by. If you don’t decide on a wind down time and a sleep time, you’re never going to achieve the proper rest and rejuvenation that you’re after.

I suggest the wind down time begins at 8pm: don’t have any more things to do, places to go, people to see. And let yourself wind down over two hours and then plan to relax and stop interacting in order to achieve sleep or have all lights out planning for sleep, by 10pm.

Being ready to sleep or being asleep by 10pm, allows you to have two hours of best rejuvenating sleep on this side of midnight and perhaps another 6 hours on top of that. It’s the sleep you achieve on this side of midnight that counts the most for your body’s recovery, so do all you can to achieve as many hours as possible before 12am.

There’s always the argument: but I want everybody to be asleep so that I can have peaceful time to myself, that’s why I stay up late. Sure, I get it, but do that early in the morning. People are still asleep very early in the morning, when you could be awake having your own time. Back to prioritising your sleep time…

Ultimately, you want to get back to a good night’s sleep as being the norm, not the exception: you need to put your chosen sleep time at the top of your list, despite judgements from yourself or others. Plan to be back from wherever, stop work or housework or prep for the next day by 8pm, allow two hours to wind down with minimal interaction and be asleep or ready for sleep by 10pm.

There’s inevitably the argument: but I won’t have a social life, I’ll never see anybody; it’s not my fault that society functions to meet for dinner around 8pm Benita. True, I fully agree with you and it sucks that you might have to say no to meeting for dinner. But the ace thing is, there are other times to meet, maybe for breakfast, rather than at the end of the day when you’re starting to disconnect from the world.

Being disciplined with your sleep time can be hard, but it’s just too bad, do you want to heal your sleep or don’t you? You’ll just have to get good at saying no. Maybe therein lies the real problem, you don’t want to be the one to let others down or you don’t want to be talked about behind your back because you’re not there.

In the end, nobody is going to care about how much sleep you don’t have, except you. The dinner or meeting will come and go at 8pm and people may or may not notice you’re not there, but then everybody gets back to their self engrossed world again.

Respect your energy and your sleep time and get good at implementing boundaries regarding time and space that nurture you.

How To Heal Sleep – Part 3

How To Heal Sleep – Part 3

Massage Your Feet

This exercise is really important for those evenings when you don’t have the energy to go out on a walk to achieve balancing your energy, you can sit at home and help to balance your energy by massaging your feet.

Balancing your energy and sleep go together, because it’s when energy is imbalanced and there’s an accumulation of it in one area (mainly felt in our mind) the prevents you getting to sleep and staying asleep.

Imagine a sea-saw with a heavy bag weighing down one end of it, full of too many thoughts and other distressing things. The other end of the sea saw is in the air, your feet, or the lower half of your body. We need weight or energy at the other end of the sea saw, the other end of your body, so there can be balance (and sleep!).

Massaging your feet to help yourself sleep is not an all problem-solving method that will fix your sleep entirely. I’m suggesting it more as part of your strategies or evening routine. You may actually respond to a foot massage sooner than not and your sleep might be improved earlier than you think, or perhaps you don’t notice the positive effects of this exercise for a while. It depends on the individual.

A foot massage just before you go to sleep will indeed help to balance your energy and when your energy is balanced, there is more chance of getting to sleep and staying there.

How To Heal Sleep – Part 2

Today’s Topic: How To Heal Sleep – Part 2

“Is poor sleep affecting your diet?”

Sleep deprivation doesn’t just affect your day or your energy, your diet tends to get negatively affected, as does your weight potentially.

When you’re tired you don’t care what you eat, so long as it’s fast, cause your patience tends to be less when you’re low on sleep as well.

Discipline is hard to maintain if you’re super tired and cooking healthy meals like you know you should and waiting an extra 40 mins for the brown rice to cook can feel a bit of an ask. You tend to reach for food high in fat, sugar or salt because you need a hit of energy quickly to help yourself stay awake.

Sleep deprivation causes you to eat at stupid times as well. You might have breakfast at 3pm or dinner at 2am and your stomach clock goes out as well as your sleep clock. If you’ve had sleep deprivation, no matter what the period of time, try to stop your poor eating habits as soon as possible.

Vegies by themselves and fruit by themselves are easier for the body to digest if you’re eating late. Prepare ahead of time for the weak moments you’re likely to have with food, and buy healthy snacks ready to eat.

You want to look good in 5 or 10 or 20 years time. You need to eat for your body, not eat for your mouth. How can you act sooner than later, to ensure you achieve that?

How To Heal Sleep – part 1

How To Heal Sleep – part 1

If you’re having sleep problems, it’s a very serious concern. Don’t underestimate the enormous negative effects it can have on your life.

If you are losing sleep every week or even every day for anywhere between 1 and 4 hours a night, you need to attend to your sleep healing pronto! Loss of sleep affects every level of your being. You can’t focus, you don’t have energy, you don’t and can’t care about anything because life feels too hard when you’re sleep-deprived.

There are four main categories of reasons why you could be having sleep problems: physical reasons, things to do with diet and exercise; emotional reasons, your probably upset with a loved one; mental reasons, you’ve got way too much on your mind and spiritual reasons, a creepy feeling in the house or perhaps nightmares.

Whatever your level of sleep problem, feel there is light at the end of the tunnel. You don’t need to be on pills or miss days of work or appointments or fun for the conceivable future, your sleep can improve! There’s nothing wrong with you, there are actual reasons why you’re not sleeping, it’s not some mysterious thing.

I highly recommend daily meditation for helping you be at peace, because your generally not sleeping because you’re not at peace. In future podcasts, I’ll discuss all these subjects in much more detail and propose possible cures and ways to cope. We’re all happier when we sleep well.