Sleep solutions, especially for empaths
Sleep sweetly, dear empath
18 January 2022
Some things I learned along the way, and I want to share with you all; written especially for empaths.
This story here is for everyone whose eyes come across it. But at the foothold of this story is the remembrance of how though we are all one, let’s just be real here; we all have different sleep schedules. So to know ourselves before we begin this journey, will be the most important thing. As Liv said in the tarot reading I shouldn’t be watching at 01:06 the morning before this is due: “If you don’t like what I say, chuck it away” so just take what you resonate with and leave what you don’t.
Recently, I was at an artist’s residency. I didn’t really know what it was at first, and I went in with a lot of optimism but as an introvert, many many more nerves. So I foolishly applied and was actually invited. No joke that the theme of the residency was ‘the fools journey’, for it was a foolish week for me indeed, stepping out of an emotionally draining week just before, and a flight that had been delayed, leading to lost luggage and with a very interesting experience. At first, as the optimistic sag Sun that I am, I allowed it to be a lesson; a symbol of leaving the baggage behind. Of a fight with an old lover, tension with my new step dad, and leaving behind the sitting in the residue of the week where everything was coming to the surface. Just before going on the residency, I read an article; how to properly prepare for the week, and it suggested ‘tying up loose ends’, but when I went in, all my ends were undone and tangled and i found myself tripping up on my tasks and duties. And I don’t want to blame it on sleep, but as the saying going: Everything goes better after a good night’s sleep. And that, I did not have.
I digress. The point is that throughout this Venus and Mercury retrograde way, because I always move with the moon and the planets. Everything was coming to the surface and to be questioned. And I forgot who I was amidst the commotion of everything, and then stepping into this new week with people who didn’t know me, I had to share a bedroom with them, in a surfer’s hostel in a 6-sleeper bedroom, on the top bunk. An introverted insomniac’s worst nightmare. But still, my Sag un said: noo don’t worry, we will love this! But my Libra moon didn’t. ANd I don’t want to get caught up on the door-handle diagnosis that is insmonia.
I look at my iPhone which tells me ‘sleep well’. Pffft. I brush it off, and scroll right past the promise I had made to myself. To stretch into bed, and remember your boundaries. Don’t take on other people’s pain. Sometimes, the signs can be really clear and simple, and I still choose to ignore them. Because my stubborn heart says: “offer her a hand”, “cook them all dinner”, “ignore those messages even though you keep looking at them because I have no strength for them today”. And my mind plays along, telling me, “Call about that luggage, reply to those emails, order that uber, there are other things to do, you need to get out of here.”
I’ll watch Up in The Air, and The Social Impact. I’ll wash the dishes and make the hummus I’ve been meaning to make since November.
I’ll read 30 minutes of the book I’ve been reading for about 7 months
And I promise I’ll finally clean that foot bath and put a hair mask in,
The to-do list begins in my head, and I think of all the people I need to ask permission for to do the things I want to do and all the expectations I set for myself every time I wake up ambitious an creative, but my body asks to slow down.
“And if I may,
Tomorrow I will sleep during the day,
And is it okay if I hang up the pegs the next day?
Actually. Scratch that, let me change that
Let me write in between the washing lines
As the words whirl in my head
Right at the point that I decide to do the things I dread"
Number One: When the night owl wakes you up, you must write!
Write the poems in between, get the words out. Even if you don't know where to start, or how to finish or what you are even saying. Let your imagination run wild, the thoughts be heard! Even when it doesn’t make sense, especially when it doesn’t. When we can't sleep, we are said to be our most creative. Not always; that can be exhaustion. But tell me your mind doesn’t wonder if you’re up late at night with the moon? I want to continue to take into consideration that our sleeping patterns change, and no one thing works for all people. So I’ll generalize this story for the night owl crises, when the moon is making you sleep less, or exhausting you so you sleep much more. And perhaps it occurs during the day, but if you are waking up in between your sleep, i would generally recommend you write. Or sing, draw if that;s your thing. BUt time and time again, I am reminded that the pen is the mightiest sword. Some can be helpful, and some words may become footholds upon which your sleep can stand as it begins with a clear mindset. And it could guide you to your own special poem to help you sleep; here is mine:
If you have sinuses, have vix at the ready
For headaches, white tiger balm will do
For the back aches, try the red
Stretch it out, write out of your bed
I tried it, and i hope it works for you too
If not, drink the chamomile and with honey,
And enjoy the tea with lavender too,
When you return to sleep,
We will have the sweetest dreams prepared for you!
Number two: Be kind and allow room for error
Habit building and breaking
It takes one, to get to know one.
Allow habit building and breaking to form as an organic process as part of the sleep journey. Allow it to be like reading the most interesting book. To read every word. Some things you’ll skim over, and perhaps never come back to because they are irrelevant to you. But let your mind sit with the ones that make you curious, that bring on that satiability. And when that cringey moment enters your mind, ask it, why does it feel so bad? And like a good friend, how can I help you through this?
One bad habit for one good one. One bad thought, for a better one. These are simple and complex, close and also far but they will work together and be the same thing. It could be your guilt pleasure for soft pillows when you know they make your neck ache. Or maybe you listened to the ads about how thse fom pillows will do you some god but it really isn’t and you’re still waiting 6 months for this thing to work, instead of listening to your body. How are you thinking? And perhaps at the beginning, at the same time. What I mean to say, to put it simply, if you are hard on yourself because you swore you’d quit smoking, you could be realistic and hopeful and kind still. You could dedicate time to journaling every time, or every two cigarettes - whatever works for you. Adjust these all for yourself, and self-regulate. That doesn’t mean don’t get a buddy to hold you accountable with, or choose people to share things with; it just means; stop seeking validation from anyone. Let your sleep be your teacher as your improve your mental health and self-talk. Ask yourself, in the prompts while smoking a cigarette: What was I thinking?What thought or or stress or reaction, boredom or situation called forth this distraction, spurred this desire? Am I enjoying this? Am I lamenting, berating myself? Take one deep breath in between and follow suit. Allow yourself, accept yourself. Then take it further - “I am so disappointed I spent all this money on this sale. No more silly spending.”
You know yourself. Is that realistic? If so, what measures do you put in place? Avoid going into shops when you see a sale? Or setting up a ‘sales’ budget for the month, that even if it’s $2, trusting the universe will direct you right there, and it’s at your discernment if you’ll use those savings you already saved. And now you sleep more sweetly. Because you have a support structure that is lenient, tailored-to-you, prepared to support you, that is kind and forgiving, and gives you a framework which can be improved upon, while setting a trong foundation for peace of mind.
Similarly, we can apply this to our sleeping patterns, which, with better sleep, I came to the conclusions above. And they have helped me immensely. I hope these help you too!
Number Three: Forgiveness
Have you ever felt on the verge of the emergence of your brilliance? Seen an opportunity so close and directly turned away and chose fear or doubt or said no or messed up and you beat yourself up, over and over again. Criticizing yourself or harshly judging others. There are simple things I’ve learned, that are small but powerful too. I journal as my thoughts come up to tell me what to do when I really breathe deeply or check in or at the very least just let myself be heard. I learned this big lesson of forgiveness when I started to write while smoking instead of scolding myself.
So as I mentioned, I was recently at a residency. And I had the worst stage fright of my life. And I knew this could go two ways; it would be something that i allowed to haunt me forever, and to interfere with my sleep. Or,
One of the best things I do is write down what i'm cringing about when it shows up. Then look at it as though it were a script, and I was the main character. Because as i re read it and i lgh thinking wow thsj is some good cntetn, i jst wish i wasnt the main character. So then its reflecting on, becareful what you wish for, right? Because its allowing that to bridge into journal prompts and minsnifestation or opens up time for reflection; reflecting that you wanted to manifest the life of man character energy. And now here you are, the main character, in the scene where she flops. The rising of the underdog, while she is still getting up. Ooh, it hurts, but also how much did you lol at yourself? You'll be okay man! Bring the Habit of Play into it.
I couldn’t help asking myself, where is the comforting amidst all this change, this conforte, disconfortet? Aware that it would be asking too much of the people around me who could never know me as deeply as I knew myself, I would have to learn to self-regulate. Began thinking the mantra: “You’ve got to learn, to earn”
Number Four: The obvious and hardest things sometimes
Take regular social media breaks
Regulate your social media. Unfollow people who tire you out.
Turn down your phone’s light settings
Take note of how lighting affects your energy and mood.
Brush your teeth before you go to bed
Do the simple things we sometimes forget or simply cannot bring ourselves to do. And remember, you'll read a myriad of things. And I could tell you a range of simple ones. But these ones will be your the goldest nuggets.
Sweet dreams. X