Today, we all live in the information era where our brains and senses are frequently overstimulated and consequently we encounter many sleep problems. Having a good night’s sleep while becoming an early riser at the same time seems like reaching a goal that is a billion light years away from us. However, by bringing our full attention to our habits and behaviour, we can consciously create the new mind patterns that work for us, not against us.
Before creating the new healthy habits such as getting the restful sleep and waking up early in the morning, we should avoid food and drinks stimulants, e.g. caffeine. They affect the brain chemistry and make changes to sleep patterns.
Very often we feel overloaded with the accumulated stress emotions that prevent us from falling asleep easily. All of this affects our sleep stages and we may find ourselves not getting some quality sleep or any at all. Also, we may not wake up early in the morning and even when we succeed in it, we would still feel groggy and emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted. So, here are some powerful and practical exercises and techniques you can do that will help you live, rise up and sleep better.
1. Breathing, Relaxation and Retrospective Exercises
As you are lying down on your bed, breathe in and out slowly and deeply for a few moments. Be aware of your breath going in and out of your nostrils. Feel how your body relaxes more and more. Then, breathe in and out at your normal pace.
With each breath out, feel how you release the tension from your toes, feet, upper and lower legs, hips, stomach, chest, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, face, head and the entire body. Feel how you sink deeper into the place of harmony and peace.
After that, you play the retrospective exercise with your mind where you become an observer of all the daily events that happened to you before bedtime. Recall all the events and details in reverse order, by starting with the one that happened right before you went to your bed.
Don’t try to interrupt or change the things you remember. Let all the feelings, images, thoughts or sensations unveil naturally to you. You are only a spectator. Then, recall the next event and its stages that happened to you just prior to the first one and so on. Go back through all day till the moment you first woke up that morning.
When you observe things in this way you can notice that your whole experience of events has changed. Whatever happened to you, accept it as it is. All the things, events and feelings you’ve gone through get purified and healed. The whole process leads you to rejuvenating and restorative sleep. It opens up the clearer and more focused morning and future for you. In this way, it is much easier to be an early and refreshed riser.
2. Visualise Your Getting Up
Visualise yourself getting up early in the morning during the daytime. You can even set the actual alarm clock, prepare your bed, room and anything else you need just in the same way you do for your bedtime.
Firstly, do the deep and slow breathing exercise and relax. Then, visualise yourself preparing for bedtime, doing your usual routine at that particular time, going to bed, sleeping well, getting up early and seeing the sunrise. Feel how you are fully energised. Feel how you are ready to grasp all the forthcoming things. Feel how you now have more time for doing the things you want. Recall a smell or taste that has a happy personal memory for you in the morning period.
At the very beginning of your practice you can set the alarm clock and recognise its sound or you can imagine how you hear its sound, see the digits of your desired time for waking up and other details. You can include some other things in your imagination. It’s up to you.
At the last step, when you actually wake up or you imagine yourself doing it say to yourself your own statement or affirmation of gratitude and empowerment. It can be something like this:
I believe in myself. I am grateful for having a peaceful mind and great strength, focus and energy. I am grateful for being an early riser and having high quality sleep.
When you establish a strong habit of rising early, then you won’t need the alarm clock anymore. Going to bed earlier or at the same time every day is not effective here and you should follow your own rhythm and energy. You should go to bed when you feel the need to do so. Listen to your body, mind, heart and soul from morning to night!