I’m sleep banking right now, preparing for my baby. Sleep is very important to me and it’s been on my mind a lot lately. In this blog post I share five spiritual practices for better sleep, plus tips for how to recharge when you haven’t slept enough.
Why is sleep important?
Scientists used to think sleep was a pretty passive activity, but research shows that there’s a lot happening when we sleep.
Studies show that good sleep enhances our learning and problem-solving skills. It also improves our abilities to focus, make decisions and tap into creativity.
On a physical level, sleep helps heal and repair our heart and blood vessels, maintains healthy hormone levels and keeps our immune system strong.
We often measure our productivity based on how hard we work and how little we sleep. Sometimes we even brag up our lack of sleep to show how busy we are and how much hustle we have.
This mentality is hurting our health and well-being.
It also hurts our success. Arianna Huffington talks about the connection between sleep and success in her TED Talk:
What happens when you don’t get enough sleep?
When you don’t get enough sleep, in effect you are sabotaging your physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
Here’s what researchers at Johns Hopkins say about what happens when we don’t get enough sleep:
When people don’t get enough sleep, their health risks rise. Symptoms of depression, seizures, high blood pressure and migraines worsen. Immunity is compromised, increasing the likelihood of illness and infection. Sleep also plays a role in metabolism: Even one night of missed sleep can create a prediabetic state in an otherwise healthy person.
Sleep is a spiritual practice
From a spiritual perspective, lack of sleep is a big way we block our power, creativity and intuition. Sleep is the time when the body has a chance to repair. When your body can’t repair itself, you not only feel ill, but you also feel blocked. Your energy field is weakened, which diminishes your power presence.
Our body is just an energetic vibration. And if our body is literally functioning at a low capacity because we haven’t gotten enough rest, then we will have a hard time calling in what we desire and being of high service.
When we’re energized, we’re more inspired. We’re happier. New ideas come forward. And, most importantly, we’re more receptive to what is coming toward us. We become a much better vessel for working with the energetic flow around us when we are well-rested.
Sleep is essential to attracting what you want, tapping into intuitive guidance and living in alignment!
My favorite spiritual tools for better sleep and recharging during the day
1. Kundalini breathing technique and mantra exercise
Here are two easy practices from my book Miracles Now that will help you get better sleep.
Kundalini breathing technique to fall asleep and stay asleep
If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night, use this Kundalini breathing technique to drift off faster and sleep better.
Step 1: Sit up straight in your bed.
Step 2: Breathe in using a U breath: Pucker your mouth as if you were holding a quarter between your lips. Breathe in through your mouth.
Step 3: Exhale through your nose.
Continue this cycle of breath for one minute. Breathe in a U breath through your mouth and exhale through your nose. You will quickly feel rested. Then sleep tight!
Kundalini mantra tool for falling asleep faster
Here’s another awesome Kundalini tool for falling asleep fast. Once you’re lying on your back in bed, keep your heels on the bed as you breathe deep, long breaths through your nose.
On the inhale, stretch your toes toward your head while you chant in your mind, Sat. On the exhale, point your toes and mentally chant, Nam. Continue this practice for three minutes. After a few minutes, you’ll fall right asleep.
Get more Kundalini guidance!
If you dig the Kundalini practices I’m sharing in this post, then I invite you to check out my Miracles Now Meditation Videos.
Even if you’re a total Kundalini beginner, you can:
- Learn how to calm your mind
- Reorganize your nervous system
- Release fear, stress and tension
- Shift your perspective
- Re-energize your life
2. Mantra-based meditation to reduce stress and re-energize
I’ve been practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) since 2014. This is a form of meditation in which you silently repeat a unique mantra for 20 minutes, twice a day.
TM allows your body to settle into a state of deep rest and relaxation and clears space for your mind to reach a state of inner peace. When you come out of a TM session you feel re-energized and grounded.
In order to practice Transcendental Meditation you must go through a training led by certified teachers, but there are other forms of mantra meditation that can give you great benefits now. The calming effects of mantra meditation help you unwind and recalibrate when life is hectic.
A short mantra meditation to calm down
If you’re struggling to unwind, I love this simple Kundalini meditation. It helps me reorganize my energy, get centered and calm down. Watch below and read this blog post for more guidance.
3. Light bath to recharge your body and mind
When it comes to living a life of vitality, it’s crucial to know how to recharge your energy. One of my greatest tools for restoring my energy is to bathe in warm light.
I included this visualization technique in my book Miracles Now. Here’s how it works:
Find a quiet space in your home, in your gym’s sauna, or even in your office (with the door locked).
Lie down on the floor and envision a waterfall of light pouring over your body. Breathe deeply in and out of your nose. As you breathe, allow yourself to sink deeper and deeper into the floor. Continue to envision this waterfall of light pouring over you, calming you, cleansing you and restoring you.
You may begin to feel your body actually vibrate and tingle. This is just a sign that your energy is recalibrating with the energy of the Universe.
Remember, we are just energy surrounded by more energy. Quantum physics suggests that as you look deeply into the structure of the atom, you see that all that is there are just energy waves. We are made up of atoms that are continuously giving off and absorbing light and energy — even while we sleep.
When you understand that the body is made up of energy alone, you can see how depleting it is to feel stressed out and overwhelmed.
Think of your body as a battery that can be recharged by positive energy. When we calm down and center our energy, we begin to vibrate with the powerful forces that surround us. Give your body a one-minute light bath that will recharge your battery.
4. Yoga Nidra guided meditation
If you’re dragging by the afternoon or early evening, my guided Yoga Nidra meditation is a 20-minute practice that will transform you! It puts you into a state of very deep relaxation, and when you emerge you feel refreshed and revitalized.
Yoga Nidra is also called yogic sleep. It’s a meditative practice that rejuvenates the body and mind. It’s designed to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, release physical tension, relax brain-wave activity, and balance the left and right sides of the brain.
5. Shabad Kriya Kundalini meditation
When you practice Shabad Kriya regularly, your sleep will be very deep and relaxed, and your nerves will regenerate.
Here is how to practice Shabad Kriya as taught by Yogi Bhajan:
Posture and mudra (hand position): Sit comfortably with your spine straight. Put your hands in your lap, palms up. Put your right hand over your left hand. Your thumbs are touching and point forward.
Eyes: Focus your eyes on the tip of the nose. Keep your eyes 9/10ths closed.
Breath and mantra: Inhale in 4 strokes (4 equal parts), silently saying the mantra Saa Taa Naa Maa. Hold your breath, repeating the mantra 4 times for a total of 16 beats. Then exhale in 2 equal strokes, mentally repeating the mantra Wahe Guru. (Wahe is pronounced “Wa-hay.”)
You can begin with just 1 or 2 minutes, building up to 11 minutes. The maximum is 62 minutes.
6. Plenty of time to digest before bed
Don’t even lie down after eating, because you’ll stress out your esophageal sphincter. Instead, sit upright or go for a short walk.
If you struggle with reflux or heartburn, it’s super important to eat dinner early and fully digest before you go to bed. You’ll have better sleep and better dreams, and you’ll wake up feeling rested.
For much more guidance on this topic, check out my blog post on gut health.
Commit to your spiritual practice and expect miracles
When you commit to your spiritual practice, your whole life changes. You have tools to not only help you sleep better, but also live every day better! That’s why I created the Miracle Membership.
As a Miracle Member you’ll get content every month that offers spiritual and practical tools to help you release stress, tap into inspiration, strengthen your relationships, heal old wounds, make the changes you crave and much more.