The Dalai Lama is famous for saying “Sleep is the best Meditation.” And I would have to agree. Many people don’t get enough sleep. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. Sleep deprivation is an enemy of happiness. Poor sleep can contribute to weight gain, headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, an impaired immune system, and attention deficit disorder.

An estimated 50-70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder according to Institute of Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem.

If you are having a hard time getting up in the morning, it could be a sign you are sleep deprived. We don’t need science to tell us that when we’re tired —

We are often moody and irritable. We react more intensely. Our emotions skyrocket, and as a result, our personal relationships can feel a strain. Sleep deprivation causes emotional and mental clutter. As a result, we make poor food decisions. When our sleep hygiene suffers, our physical hygiene suffers. It’s a domino effect, one thing falling after the other.

Better sleep has been touted for years as one of the benefits of yoga. Yoga improves our emotional well-being and can help decrease anxiety; anxiety is a trigger for the inability to sleep. Here are some key pointers for a better nights rest:

Sleep Checklist:
 Set a regular sleep schedule
 Create a soothing bedtime routine
 Tonight and for the next 20 nights, go to bed one hour earlier than you have been.
 Unplug from technology 30 minutes prior to going to bed.

What is Anxiety?  It is how we manage stress.
What is Stress? The opposite of relaxation.

One of the most important things you can learn from yoga and meditation is that your thoughts have the ability to affect your overall contentment and health. During conscious reflection, thoughts are experienced more as an energy. When we create positive visualizations, our thoughts trigger a positive feeling and our brain state, emotional state and physical experience is enhanced.

“All I’m saying is that to liberate the potential of your mind, body and soul, you must first expand your imagination. You see, things are always created twice: first in the workshop of the mind and then, and only then, in reality. I call this process ‘blueprinting’ because anything you create in your outer world began as a simple blueprint in your inner world.”
–Robin Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

When you harness the power of your own understanding then negative thoughts no longer take over our bodies and minds at large — triggering tension, anxiety or other responses. You have the right to see your life from the inside, influencing what you experience outside yourself. You create your reality.

“To hold an image in our mind increases the possibility it will materialize.”

Bedtime Mantra: I know it will work out

Meditation for Relaxation Before Bedtime:
A very effective method to relax the body is by systematically stressing all the muscles, holding that 5
to 10 seconds, and then releasing the tension.
– Sit or lie in a relaxed way.
– Put an extremely tense expression on the face, straining as many face muscles as possible.
Take a deep breath and forcefully hold it. … Now slowly release the breath and the tension of all the face muscles, feel as if you breathe out all stress.
– Inhale deeply again and stress all neck and shoulder muscles…. then let go
– Inhale, make fists and stress the arms… let go
– Inhale, stress chest, belly and back…. let go
– Inhale, stress buttocks, legs and feet… let go
– If you still feel tension at some places, just stay relaxed, don’t hold the breath now, but release
all the tension while breathing out.
– Enjoy your relaxed body.

Sweet dreams, sleep well.

Sleep is the Best Meditation