I used to love it when my father read bed time stories to me, then tucked the covers around me just right, said “good night” and turned off the light. Somehow it was easier to fall asleep. It was a bedtime ritual. Bed time rituals prepare the mind to enter a state of rest.
Imagine how you feel when you’ve had deep restful sleep and wake up refreshed and relaxed ready for the day. Things flow easier. Life is not such a struggle. That sleep is valuable for your health, rebalancing your body chemistry. It’s better for your teeth too. I frequently see the stress of the day translate into muscle tension, TMJ pain, clenching and grinding. Working on ways to help your mind relax and rest helps you have a healthy smile.
Have you ever read the children’s story “Good night moon…?”
“In the great green room
There was a telephone
And a red balloon
And a picture of…”*
Can you imagine the picture of the great green room? Our mind thinks in pictures just like the beautiful illustrations in this story. Saying the words creates the picture in your mind. You can use the technique of “setting an intention” to help achieve tranquil sleep.
Being intentional towards sleep puts your mind in a creative space. It is different than a wish or desire, because inherent in wish or desire is the idea that you need something outside of yourself to happen in order to have what you want. There is power in being intentional. You may not know “the how” but your mind will work on it while you sleep.
Have some fun with making a bedtime ritual special for you!
- What would make your bedroom feel more like a sanctuary?
- What kind of lighting, colors, sounds would help calm your mind and get ready for good quality sleep?
- What routine can you create? (Brush teeth, favorite jammies, journaling, meditation, prayer..)
Whatever works for you.
Reflecting on the day helps put things in order:
- Did you feed your body nourishing food so it is happy?
- Did you enjoy fresh air and spent some time moving your body?
Then you can create a restful state of mind:
- What are you grateful for?
- What is your intention for the night, tomorrow and for the future?
Good night, rest, relax, get deep sleep…
*“Good Night Moon,” by Margaret Wise Brown, Pictures by Clement Hurd