to dream? Or perhaps just sleep? Since the Covid-19 lockdown began there have been many reports of people experiencing even stranger dreams than usual. I have not had this problem as for me, a bigger issue has been sleep itself. Several clients and friends I have spoken to have mentioned the same concern. With the heightened state of anxiety and uncertainty, not to mention an inconsistent rhythm to our days, it is not surprising that a good night’s sleep has become elusive, but it is not something to ignore. The knock-on effects of lack of sleep go far beyond tiredness. Our immune system suffers if we are not properly rested, so getting a good 6- 8 hours of sleep is one tool we need to help our bodies both defend against the threat of viruses and fight them off if we succumb. Here are a few suggestions that might help.
Intentional breathing using the 4-7-8 technique is easy to learn and proponents of it promise that it will help you drop off to sleep in a minute. The link includes a helpful demonstration.
Self-massage before bed is soothing and calming to the body. Many clients fall asleep, or drop into a deeply relaxed state, during reflexology, and while it is not quite the same, working on the body before you want to go to sleep can be very helpful. Techniques that can be used once you are lying down are especially good, so working gently around the ears as mentioned in a previous post is recommended. You can follow this by working on the facial reflexology point located in the centre of the forehead between the eyebrows, for the pituitary/pineal gland – both part of the endocrine system and important for the release of hormones which regulate our body clock. Using the second and middle fingers circle slowly around the point with comfortable pressure, then hold steady for up to 2 minutes. Just below this, right between the brows, is the location of the third eye and according to eastern medicine there are many benefits to working this point in a similar way.
Using gentle touch and stroking all over the head is very relaxaing and of course you can use it to calm someone else, in fact it is a great tool for helping children nod off. Take a look at this cute clip of a baby falling asleep – just watching it may make you sleepy! A final tip, and one which I often employ, is to focus on breathing slowly, hands on the belly to help slow the breath down, then using the mind’s eye to imagine receiving a great foot reflexology session. With practice, you can almost imagine that it is happening!