After dinner last night, my friend asked for some advice for her insomnia. She has the kind where it’s hard to get to sleep. (The other kind is where you wake up during the night, and have difficulty falling back asleep. And of course there’s the combination of those two.)
There can be any number of reasons for insomnia, so I did what I always do, which is to learn more about that sleeplessness.
- Do you have physical discomfort in bed, that could affect your ability to fall asleep?
- Is you mind busy? Are you thinking lots of thoughts?
- Are you feeling stressed? Do you have deadlines or other worries?
- Does this happen every night? When is it not such a problem? When it is worse?
- What do you typically do before you go to sleep? Do you have a bedtime routine?
My friend said that she thinks her mind is busy with thoughts. So I suggested she try soaking in a bath before going to bed. When our energy is up in our head–with thoughts and worries–the body sometimes gets left out. A hot bath covers your skin all the way down to your toes, and reminds our heads that it’s not all about our minds. The toes want some attention, too. Some of that energy in the head can relax down into the body, helping in overall relaxation.
It turns out that my friend does take a bath. Every night!
She thought a little more, then asked, “What about reading before bed?”
It turns out that my friend reads a variety of material–magazines, novels, non-fiction–in the bathtub.
So her nightly bath ritual may relax her body, but the reading might be stimulating her mind. My suggestion to her was to leave the reading material outside. See what it’s like to let the bath be a blissful bath on its own. And to pay attention to her ability to sleep. I’ll check in with her later.
Bathtime Tools: Even though there’s a wonderul soaking tub in my home, it’s whoafully under-used. So I bought myself a jar of Ahhh…Bath Soak because I love how the aromatherapy helps to calm me, and also gives each bath a specialness boost. I’m not suggesting that you have to buy anything to make your baths more fragrant. But to pay attention to what makes it relaxing and appealing to you.