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.

449 thoughts on “Sleep

  1. ‘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.

  2. 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.

  3. ‘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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. “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.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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