Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and whether or not you celebrate, a reflection on love might offer some unexpected benefits in relation to your sleep.
Before you press the ‘unsubscribe’ button let me explain. In my last blog I wrote about bruxism or teeth grinding and explained that this symptom is often experienced by extreme perfectionists who constantly give themselves a hard time feeling that nothing they do is good enough. Another side effect of this is sleeplessness – difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep because of the worry about what could go wrong, perceived unfinished business, fear of being found out (pseudo competence) and simply being unable to let go. Anxiety sits in the body creating rigidity and tension leading to teeth grinding, insomnia and often, burnout. And by the way, in case you missed it here’s the 2 minute clip I recently filmed with the BBC on burnout:
Do you recognise yourself in this burnout spiral? Do you constantly push yourself feeling you can’t stop until it’s perfect?
When I work with people who suffer from an excessive drive to get it right, we usually end up talking about how they talk to themselves. I invite them to start noticing the self-talk and to experiment with directing more kindness and compassion towards themselves. Their initial reaction might be to feel embarrassed about doing this but eventually they notice that changing their inner dialogue helps them let go of feeling they need to be in control all the time, the incessant mental chatter seems to quieten down, they’re more able to soften and relax…and sleep.
So how do you do this?
I’m going to share with you my special meditation that produces amazing results if you give it a go. Suspend judgement, try it and see how fast you fall asleep and when you’re in bed tonight repeat these words silently and slowly making your inner voice soft and gentle as if putting a small child to sleep. And this is how it goes….
I love my right foot
I love my right big toe
I love my right little toe
I love all the toes of my right foot
I love the top of my right foot
I love the bottom of my right foot
I love my right ankle
I love my left foot
And so on…..
You will start to fall asleep and lose the meditation. As soon as this happens go back to the starting point… I love my right foot….
The more you use this technique the better it will work for you. And teach your children the exercise too – it even works for my grumpy teenager. The choice of the word ‘love’ is deliberate – it’s the opposite of the punitive language we’re using towards ourselves when we’re saying ‘you have to get this right!’ This simple form of self-suggestion enables the production of oxytocin, the love and trust hormone, which induces a feeling of inner safety and peace. And then….when we feel safe we produce melatonin and we sleep.
You literally love yourself to sleep!
Don’t forget, I’m launching my new webinar programme on 2nd April where we’ll be talking all things sleep, energy, happiness and more. I hope you can join me. Here’s the sign up link and I really hope you can join me:
Live Well, Love Well, Sleep Well,