How Sleeping with Purpose Helped My Mental Health
Sleeping with purpose has worked wonders regarding my nightmares associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I struggled for years to obtain restful sleep due to nightmares and flashbacks related to my PTSD. I learned that being present before sleep at night allowed my mind to rest emptily and instead of it being full of thoughts. Here are some ways that helped me, and hopefully will help you, in being active and present in my sleep or sleeping with purpose.
What Sleeping with Purpose Means to our Mental Health
Sleeping with purpose is simply the idea of present awareness that you are going to fall asleep. Many times I have just allowed my body to fall asleep with no structure or pattern regarding where or when I slept. Anxiety would then take over and fill my mind with thoughts of past and future before sleep. This also led to my body not being relaxed before entering sleep. Then I created a before-bed routine.
My PTSD symptoms keeping me up at night or from a good night's sleep were amenable to a nightly routine. I began by turning off all electronics and television 30 minutes before bed. This assured my mind would not be flooded with thoughts or images before sleep.
Next, I would lie in bed and meditate or listen to calming music 15 minutes before bed. This allowed me to be present as my mind and body drifted off to sleep. I was able to work through any other distressing thoughts of the day and not allow my anxiety to blow these thoughts into nightmares later in the night.
Mental Health and Active Sleep Need Time and Patience
No plan is foolproof when working on coping strategies for my mental health. I woke up due to nightmares less but, still experienced those types of dreams. I included in my routine at night a meditation when awoken by these dreams. This allowed me to process what I had dreamed about. My meditation also soothed me back to sleep sooner than just awaiting its arrival as I normally did.
If you are anything like me, falling asleep was not an active process. Allowing our minds and bodies to drift off into sleep with a clear mind and relaxed body can help alleviate symptoms of our mental health that tend to keep us up. After just a month of this scheduled routine, I was sleeping through the night and waking up less due to bad dreams or nightmares.
My PTSD is a juggling act regarding coping with my symptoms. Small changes in a daily routine can create these coping skills, so the symptoms are not bothering our daily functions such as sleep.
Do you have a before-bed routine? Do you feel having a routine may assist in more restful sleep? Please leave your comments about sleeping with purpose below to share with others.
Nolasco, M. (2021, April 26). How Sleeping with Purpose Helped My Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, September 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/thelifelgbt/2021/4/how-sleeping-with-purpose-helped-my-mental-health
Author: Meagon Nolasco
I love the idea of thinking about "sleeping with purpose"! This adds such an additional layer of meaning and motivation behind creating a before-bed routine. Getting a good night's rest truly is so important for just about every facet of our health and wellbeing, the additional perspective of bringing purpose to your sleep and routine feels so empowering.