An Evening Routine
Do you overstimulate yourself to sleep?
It used to take multiple screens to get me to sleep, an episode of something I've seen a million times in the background, flipping through blogs on my iPad, chatting with friends on my iPhone, often while mindlessly snacking until eventually I would reach peak stimulation and pass out rather than falling asleep.
This, to say the least, did not serve me. I would wake up from a night of digesting information and food feeling like I'd gotten no sleep at all.
This serves me better:
Make a small mug of tea. Chamomile is nice.
Small is crucial here or you'll be up in a few hours to get rid of that tea. When you sip it, focus exclusively on the heat of the mug under your fingers and nose, the mild aroma of the herbs, the sensation of fluid moving across your tongue and down your throat.
I aim for 5 hand-written pages a day. It doesn't matter what I write - whatever comes to mind, often what happened that day or what I want to happen the next day, sometimes reliving experiences I wish had gone differently (often these are meaningless interactions in which I suffered from what the French call l'esprit d'escalier - the perfect comeback that arrives in your brain way too late).
Sometimes I put on a sleep meditation, but often I'll turn on a fan and a mantra (om namah shivaya is a nice one) until sweet sleep comes.
The first night or two may feel odd, unanchored, but sleeping with your feet towards your headboard and several feet of space behind your head increases your subtle body energy flow while you rest.