When I am taking the best care of myself, I treat myself like a Waldorf child. I eat fruits and vegetables instead of candy. I read instead of watch television. I spend time in nature. I get enough sleep.
I need eight hours a night. I also need a half hour nap in the afternoon but that doesn’t happen very often. I would take one every day except it would be weird for my students if their teacher curled under her desk in the middle of the lesson and tucked herself in.
I knew a great high school football coach once who had his players take a nap for forty-five minutes before a practice. They pulled out mats after the final school bell and fell asleep upon them like a room of overgrown toddlers during nap time.
One of the boys rose a few minutes earlier and took a pictures of his teammates sleeping. It was silly and beautiful and made so much sense. Those students’ growing bodies and stressed minds needed nothing so much as sleep.
Turn off all screens at least a half hour before lights out. Read instead. Read a book made of actual paper. The light from a screen makes falling asleep hard.
Avoid caffeine after two in the afternoon.
Take a walk or do yoga in the evening if I’ve been having trouble falling asleep.
If I wake up at 3 a.m. to the monkey mind doing the hokey pokey, return to breath.
If I were my own child, I would not list a litany of fears and regrets as a bedtime routine, so I vow not to do that to myself. In the moments before falling asleep, set an intention that I will dream usefully and beautifully. Say thank you for everything.
Then go to sleep.
What are some recurring dreams that you have? How would you interpret them? What do you think your sub-conscious mind is trying to tell you through your dreams?
List purposeful intentions to dwell on in the moments before falling asleep. What are you grateful for? What would you like more of in your life? What would that feel like?
Write a practical journal entry in which you plan to make a better sleep environment for yourself. How many hours a night do you need? What can you do to make this happen?