Sleep

by Anne Malatt, Australia

“Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care.” (William Shakespeare, Macbeth)

I have always struggled with sleep.

Ever since I was very young, I remember not wanting to go to sleep, having trouble falling asleep, waking during the night and not being able to go back to sleep, and waking in the morning feeling more tired than I was the night before. I used to stay up late, trying to avoid sleep. When I was in my teens, I began drinking to try and help me sleep, which only made the problem worse. I tried everything, and nothing helped (except chamomile tea, which left a strange taste in my mouth).

One day, in desperation, I decided to take the advice of a good friend and go to bed early. It was a revelation! I woke the next morning after a sound sleep, feeling rested and vital and looking forward to the day.

Knowing this, why do I still struggle with sleep?

I have come to know that the way I sleep is a reflection of the way I live the day.

If I live a day in anxiousness, pushing myself, driving myself to complete tasks, that energy is still in my body (and my head) when I go to sleep.

If I come home from work late, and still have to make dinner, eat dinner, clean up afterwards and let my dinner digest, I am not ready to go to bed early.

If I eat too much food, I cannot sleep for a few hours.

If I do not feel complete about my day, I take it to bed with me.

I have come to know that preparing for sleep takes the whole day.

The quality of my sleep is a reflection of the way I have lived the day.

The quality I wake up in reflects the way I have slept, which reflects the way I lived the day before.

The quality I wake up in is the quality I take to the next day.

Knowing this, sleep is everything.

So, if sleep matters so much, how do I do it?

The first thing I have learned is to understand how important sleep is and to make a commitment to going to sleep in the quality I would like – in gentleness, in love.

To do this I need to live my day in full, to feel complete when my work day is done, and to wind down in the quality I would like to go to sleep in.

The winding down rhythm at the end of the day is all important.

For me, it means finishing work at 5pm, feeling that my day is complete.

It means leaving work at work, and coming home in a way that allows me to bring home me, and only me.

It means preparing and eating food that nourishes and supports me, without overeating.

It means spending the evening resting and playing, without over-stimulation.

It means allowing enough time to get ready for bed in the evening, as I do to get ready for the day in the morning.

Sleep does so much for us, if we but allow it. It is up to us to support ourselves, to bring ourselves to sleep with love, so that we can bring the fullness of ourselves to each and every day.

My understanding of this has been inspired by Natalie Benhayon, who is a living example of the truth of this work.

483 thoughts on “Sleep

  1. I have observed that eating too late at night, I need more sleep and wake tired the next morning as all of my energy has gone on digestion during the night instead of recharging.

  2. What a great blog sharing the importance of the cyclical nature of our day and night and how they each affect the other. Everything matters. Not just what we do but how we do what we do.

  3. I love coming back to this blog, and all that is shared on sleep. Sleep is not really a topic many people discuss, its just something you do at the end of the day…. But sleep is important as highlighted in this blog, as the quality of our sleep and whether we’ve had enough sleep impacts how we are the next day.

  4. So many are sleep-deprived in todays’ societies. Exhaustion has become a major plague – witness the exponential growth of coffee shops in towns. People cant function without their morning coffee. People put off going to sleep – their repose – by watching TV until late then wonder why they find waking in the morning so difficult. A wind down time is important – for adults as well as children. Parents know their children can’t sleep if wired from the day – adults are no different.

  5. I was just thinking about this, sleep, and I recently heard someone saying how important is was for him to feel complete before going to sleep, and not expect sleep to do it for us, and it makes sense, to first be in a state that feels complete and then the sleep will take it from there.

    1. Oh I love that, thank you for sharing it. It makes such sense to complete our day and not expect our sleep to do it for us, it also brings us to much more personal responsibility.

  6. I love this blog Anne, and all you share in your understanding of the subject of sleep. A must read for anyone, because the importance of sleep is widely underestimated, and in showing the bigger picture, we can see that sleep or lack of sleep impacts our every day quality of life and how we relate and interact with others.

    1. So true Willem; the more love we live feeds us back, so we get less tired and drained, and when we go to sleep, our bodies are resting and preparing for the next day and all that brings.

  7. What a beautiful and inspiring blog Anne. This sentence alone is something most people have to digest: “I have come to know that preparing for sleep takes the whole day.” Imagine more people would live life like this – I am sure the world would be a different place to stay.

    1. It sure would Ester. In our sleep we could deepen and make our next day even more worthwhile. But if we use sleep to clean up the unloving ways we lived in the day, it never works.

  8. So many of us resist sleep and the repose it offers us. Do we prepare for sleep as well as we prepare for our day ?

  9. From some time to now I’m learning to rest in my body before rest in my bed. This means don’t go to bed with my unresolved issues and with the anxiousness for resting well fed by the beliefs about sleeping, which left me more exhausted even. Developing a loving ritual before sleep and going to bed early is deeply supporting me to rest like a baby. I appreciate so much the quality in that I’m living today after working with Universal Medicine which allows me to be more present, joyful and tender with myself night and day.

  10. Deeply resting is a mode unto itself – we can’t expect it to work by approaching it in the same active way we live our day. But as you beautifully show Anne our ability to access true repose is defined by not our quality of bed or pillow but the energy we’ve chosen to align to throughout the day.

  11. Sleep is so important to me and because of this I can procrastinate being with myself and surrendering at the end of the day. I know a surrendered loving sleep can restore harmony, revitalise and bring me greater awareness. Why fight it? Because there’s a part of me that likes the world to be a struggle, because when it is I get so caught up in just getting through the day, I don’t have to feel the amazingness I would otherwise bring to the world, and bring it!

    1. We humans fight so much in life, mostly ourselves. When we stop the fight and let go of control, protection, and the push and the drive for our bodies to keep doing more and more, clarity shines forth where we make more loving and supportive choices for our bodies, including looking at our sleeping patterns to ensure a good night sleep which is our foundation for the next day.

  12. This is a great example for me to ponder, because I am a person who can resist sleep…I can feel how I have used that behaviour to not feel, to numb, to feel tired so I do not put into action what is needed…we can sabotage ourselves in all sorts of ways. It is worth us looking at what we choose that prevents us from shining.

  13. In reading this I can see how sleep is such an important part of one’s full commitment to life, which is essentially a commitment to the quality of one’s movements through life.

  14. Each point you make is worth deep consideration Anne and all take a while to work with in daily life. I am now for example much more consciously completing my day and not starting tomorrow already today by way of thinking about everything that needs done then. To feel complete in the day is a very beautiful and restful way of being.

  15. Sleep time, a cycle, which is so necessary for our health and wellbeing is a very important topic to shine the spotlight on. It feels to me that when we don’t allow our body sufficient rest that this amounts to nothing less than self-abuse because we are expecting our body to function for us without honouring its needs and thereby allowing our mind to dictate how we live, rather than living from the wisdom of our body.

  16. Wow Anne with what you have shared it is very clear that we are more in the doing than in resting our body. Perhaps this is one reason why sleeping problems are so rapidly on the way up!

  17. Anne, these are all great and very relatable examples of how we as spirits ‘ride the out-breath of God’ and in so doing create an endless cycle of excess motion so we can exist contrary to the greater flow of life we are a part of and naturally fall in rhythm with when we are not fighting it.

    1. Beautifully said. Like a wayward wild horse who doesn’t want to know the exquisiteness of obedience and harmony. I’m feeling the consequences of excess motion and how my recklessness is wrecking my life.

  18. This is great for me to read, as I have been finding lately that I have been staying up late to get work finished, rather than getting up early and that I am not taking the time to prepare myself to rest. From reading this I can feel how much of a difference it would make to the quality I wake up in, if I took more care putting myself to sleep.

  19. What Anne has shared here makes so much sense. I can feel so strongly how when I bring my work home with me and have held back expressing myself in any way, it directly affects my sleep in a negative way. But when I take the time and provide space to wind down, do my gentle exercises before bed and other rituals consistently, I sleep like a baby and wake up ready to go!

  20. An empowering revelation that is revealing to us that we can live more than we are currently living and that it starts by such simple changes (movements). To dare and go there and break cycles, start new flows in life that hold a different quality of energy and that supports you. Coming back to the ancient knowing of what cycles are all about and claiming that love and truth to be part of your life – by your own free will!

  21. I also have been struggling with my sleep, and still am. It is not about not sleeping, but about the way I wake up: not vital, struggling to get up, tired, not wanting to get up. Of course in the end I still do it. But I have come to know that what is normal is waking up feeling vital, rejuvenated, jubilant and very much looking forward to another day. All other ways just show that the day before hasn’t been lived in love.

  22. So true – for me, it is not always possible to go to bed early, but how I prepare myself before going to bed, how I spend my day, especially whether I have held back my expression or not, makes a huge difference in the quality of sleep, and how I would feel the next day.

  23. It’s amazing to realise how the quality in which we live one moment is the quality that leads us to live the next. In that, the quality that we live is a reflection of the energy we have chosen to align to, or let move us, which is something that we have the will to change at any given moment. Bringing awareness to the quality in which I go or prepare to sleep has been a huge support in developing a deeper connection to my body and being, and being able to sustain this presence more and more throughout my day.

  24. It makes absolute sense that we cannot seperate sleep from any other part of our day. Many times I have felt more tired after nights full of stressful dreams, feeling as though my nervous system is working twice as hard while I’m out to it. Sleep is not the same as true nurturing and restorative rest and there is no way to fake it.

    1. It’s so true Leonne – sleep is as equally important as breathing, as is how we live every moment of our day. Bringing awareness of the quality of how I go to sleep has brought greater depth to the quality of presences in my living day, in which the opportunity to continue to deepen, refine and adjust is a beautiful journey of discovering and confirming what supports best to for me to live the real me.

  25. “I have come to know that preparing for sleep takes the whole day.” Realising this changes one’s whole approach to life.

  26. “Sleep does so much for us if we but allow it.” this is so true, and how do we allow this one might ask? by merely treating sleep not as something we just do because we are exhausted, but as something that is sacred as in truth it regenerates and prepares us for the quality of life and volume we are capable of having access for the next day, to gain more connection to that which is divine within us all.

  27. You explain so beautifully Anne, how the rhythm of the day impacts on the quality of our sleep and that is the quality of the next day. It is so worth it to nurture ourselves in this way.

  28. Given how important sleep is and how it is such a major problem for so many in our world it makes me wonder why such simple common wisdom of sleep that you share here Anne is not being applied by many more. It is not that we do not know this but that we do not choose to live it’s way.

    1. That’s it Joshua, we all know an early night makes a huge difference to the way we feel when we wake the next day but we choose to fight it. We start fighting our sleep from a young age wanting to stay up late and continue to override our tiredness as adults. When we listen to our bodies and honour the messages we receive we naturally start to change our rhythm.

      1. many people feel out they miss out on social time or me time when they go to bed early and I am finding that a lot of activities in my community do not start until 8 or 8.30 pm. So we all keep rolling with the ball until enough people have enough love and care for themselves to say no longer and we can change this unnatural rhythm around.

  29. Even before I came across Universal Medicine if I was feeling out of sorts, I naturally knew that an early night would do me the world of good, allowing my body time to catch up with itself, and through Universal Medicine I have learnt that regularly going to bed early has vast health benefits as it gives my body a regular rhythm to heal itself, without me putting it under stress by staying up late.

  30. ‘I have come to know that preparing for sleep takes the whole day’. This changes our whole approach to sleep as its quality is not just something that ‘happens’ at the end of the day but is a product of the quality of our entire day.

  31. I used to struggle with sleep. These days I enjoy going to bed – and early too. I have much more respect for sleep than I once did, because I now understand how different I feel the next day after a really good sleep. And much of this is built on a more loving relationship with myself, one that is self-caring and nurturing, one that accepts more responsibility for who I am in the world and with others. Sleep is part of the foundation of who I am going to be in my day and when this foundation is lovingly in place, life is more vital and joy-full. It may appear dull to some, but my experience is that the opposite is true.

  32. ‘I have come to know that preparing for sleep takes the whole day.’ I like this seemingly turning things upside down Anne and with putting it like this it gives both parts of the 24 hour cycle we live in the same importance, it is a given that it all is just one day over and over again.

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