We all have some idea that we need a good night’s sleep in order to wake up feeling refreshed in the mornings, but for many of us this is not our reality as we often fall into bed at night exhausted and wake up with the same feeling of exhaustion we went to bed with, so we tend to rely on something stimulating like coffee to get us going for the day.

I have lost count of the number of times I have wanted to go to bed reasonably early but have stayed up later so that I could keep my partner company while they watched the television. They would wake me up when they went to bed as quite often I had fallen asleep in the chair; I would then drag myself to bed and I would wake up in the mornings feeling drained and for me my stimulation was a cup of tea to get me going.

When I left the relationship, I still watched television or read a book – with a glass of wine as I considered this as my wind down part of the day – before going to bed. Admittedly I was going to bed earlier and falling asleep there rather than in the chair, but nothing else had really changed, and I still woke the next morning feeling tired and drained.

Then some years later I attended a presentation by Serge Benhayon of Universal Medicine, where he was talking about the importance of sleep and how it affects us by the way we put ourselves to sleep.

What I understood from the presentation was, basically when we go to bed exhausted, we think we are asleep but the body is still so stimulated that it actually cannot rest in the way it needs to in order to regenerate.

This set me wondering about my day. I started to look at how I was behaving during the day, what foods I was eating that may have kept me stimulated in nervous tension and anxiousness so that my body was unable to fully rest at night and go into the deep regenerative sleep that Serge Benhayon had described.

When we overstimulate our bodies during the day, our bodies are constantly racy, and this can lead to anxiousness and excess nervous energy.

I took more care and attention with the snacks I was eating, and questioned – why was I eating them? I discovered that 3 o’clock in the afternoon was a low point for me and I would make a cup of tea and eat biscuits. This was fascinating to me and this finding encouraged me to look at the other ways I used foods or drinks to stimulate myself when I was tired or to suppress what I was truly feeling… to dull myself down so that I didn’t feel the underlying anxiousness in my body.

I slowly made changes based on what I felt in my body, having been inspired by the presentation. For example, I decided that after supper I did not want to engage in stimulating conversations or to be stimulated by some drama program on the television. Instead of reaching for a book or a glass of wine, once the dishes had been put away I quietly tidied up the house and got myself ready for bed, and so it was that I now went to bed at more or less the same time as my child; the bedtime story became a bedtime story for both of us.

If I was looking for instantaneous results it was not to be, but gradually over a period of time I noticed that I wasn’t so tired in the mornings and didn’t feel so exhausted at night before going to bed.

Having very little stimulation before bedtime seemed to work and I started to look forward to going to bed, because I knew the next day I would feel better in myself. I was not so defensive or tetchy around people, less likely to be moody and irrational in my behaviour, which meant that people were less on their guard with me, they were much more open in fact.

I took more exercise, as I had more energy, and was eating less comfort food as snacks during the day, which actually supported me to understand and read my body more. This insight showed me just how much I had constantly grazed on foods and had put on quite a bit of weight: funny how weight just creeps on and I had just accepted this without questioning my lifestyle choices.

It has taken a while for the benefits of a change in routine to have an effect, however the changes I have made have been so worthwhile. My weight is back to normal, I feel so strong in my body and so I have kept this routine going, because why stop if it’s working?

I was always a very light sleeper; I was told that if a pin dropped in the night I would hear it and wake up. Those nights of light sleeping are well behind me. I now sleep very soundly, so much so that a mirror that was attached by small suckers to the larger mirror in the bathroom fell down in the middle of the night and my daughter went to investigate what the crash was . . . I never heard a thing! I slept through it and even though she came into my bedroom and quietly called my name, it didn’t disturb me.

Re-learning to sleep soundly, as we do when we are children, is such a lifestyle change for me. I can get up every day feeling really refreshed from a superb night’s sleep, ready to meet the day in whatever way it comes.

Filed under

ExhaustionAnxietySleepWeight

  • By Mary Sanford

  • Photography: Rebecca UK, Photographer

    I am a tender and sensitive woman who is inspired by the playfulness of children and the beauty of nature. I love photographing people and capturing magical and joyful moments on my camera.