Yesterday I was speaking to a good friend of mine who is a senior academic, author, and teacher. He is clearly a very busy man. For me it was very interesting because, like many of us, one of the things that he struggled with was sleep.
Sleep is something that is absolutely necessary for every single human and creature on this planet. However, many of us take sleep for granted and we spend a lot of our time focusing on how we can minimise sleep, or make the maximum out of the little sleep that we get.
Sometimes this means that people start the day with 5 or 6 hours of disrupted or poor sleep and they work trying to find a few minutes for a nap at some point. Other people are in the habit of oversleeping, which ironically, is also not good. Oversleeping leads to lethargy laziness and lack of engagement with life.
Today's one day at a time is an invitation to set an intention for ensuring that we get sufficient sleep in terms of time, quality, and quantity.
As a Muslim I believe that I have the opportunity for every single second of my life to be an act of worship if I set the intention correctly.
As a human I believe that I have the opportunity for every single second of my sleep to be restful if I set to the intention correctly.
Sleep is a very significant part of human life without it we struggle. Yet many people continue their daily struggle and make no changes to the pattern of the day.
Look, I know that I could give you plenty of advice on how to improve your sleep. I also know that only a small percentage of people will implement that advice into their lives. What I wish for you is that your relationship with sleep improves and the quality of your sleep enables you to progress further in your life.
As simple as it sounds setting intention is very, very powerful. We all know that Muslims are rewarded based upon the intention they set for an act of worship. Whatever your set of beliefs you know that your intention for life (and small acts) is the thing that sets the quality of your life. For me I take that to mean that a lot of the reward is within the intention. In addition, researchers have found that when you set your intention for your sleep your sleep is better.
One of the ways of doing this is to say a small prayer as your head lands on the pillow and ask God to make your sleep restful rejuvenating and something else.
Are you comfortable when you are in bed? Is your pillow and duvet too hot or too cold, uncomfortable, too heavy, or something else that is making you feel even a tiny bit uncomfortable. For me this is quite critical because whenever I stay in a hotel I always yearn for my own bed as I know that is where my best sleep is.
I have found that when I go to sleep hydrated my sleep is better quality. And you can't end times this results by having a glass of water or bottle of water by your bed and drinking that first thing in the morning before your feet even land on the floor. That has an immediate impact of rehydrating you and results in you're feeling better throughout the day as well as at night full stop
As you can see these three things are not major shifts in anyone's life but these three tiny moves results in a much deeper more relaxed and more enjoyable sleep. And when you sleep better you are able to think better work more efficiently and manage your emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental health much better.
If you are looking to improve your sleep then I have a wonderful challenge For you.
Take the first suggestion I made and do that for 7 days, then add the next one for a further 7 days and in the last week of your 21-day challenge and the third one. I hope and expect that you will find your sleep improves within 21 days.
Of course if you are surviving on 5 hours of sleep a night there are some more fundamental things that need to be addressed but that is not what this article is about.
Whatever your situation is, I encourage you to work on improving your sleep one day at a time.