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Loneliness hurts when you have insomnia.

Awake in a quiet dark night… it feels like everyone else is happily asleep, including your partner dreaming beside you.

My new client, Emma, reminded me of this when she talked about her struggles at night.

She had an active, engaged life with a mission to make the world a better place. But during sleepless hours, when she thought about how she’d feel the next day, she knew she’d be too sleep-deprived to connect to those around her. Which just made her feel worse.

The lure of social media
Loneliness is one reason you reach for social media in the middle of the night – even though you know it is an obstacle to rest and sleep.

You just want to feel connected:

  • Someone likes or responds to your post.
  • Another picture or story resonates.
  • Seeing a video of little kitties dancing connects you to love and nature.

Loneliness starts to define your whole life. And the isolation of insomnia makes it worse. Because there’s not even anyone awake to tell how desolate you feel!

Climb out of the pit

Emma and I will soon focus on some tools to lift the weight of loneliness, but I really get how it can feel like a bottomless pit.

It’s a pit I swam in often for a long time after my husband and two best friends died within two years.

It takes focus to get out of the pit, to not see everything reflected through loneliness glasses. I often had the following conversation in my head:

I asked that new woman from coworking space for coffee… and it was okay I guess, but she’s not that open and nobody sees the real me like my friends did.

The grateful body

While that was true on one level, today I realized how that same woman from coworking has turned into a friend over time — we both opened up.

What I would have suggested to me back then, and anyone of us caught in loneliness, is to feel gratitude, awe, wonder, appreciation.

You might start with a list, but spend time feeling grateful, honored, connected, to whatever is on your list. Feel it deep in your heart, and let that feeling soften and fill your body, even just 5%.

It might not take the loneliness away, but it softens it. Because other people aren’t the only way to feel the truth that you are cared for in this world.  Which helps you rest into who you really are.

I’m excited to start a new 12-week group starting September 5. It’s not only helps you to address the loneliness of insomnia, it’s also a powerful way for you to understand and practice the seven pathways to rest.

I love the energy of groups, and working together to learn from each other. I like to see people make connections with each other, themselves, and tools to both soothe their nights and be more powerful during the day.

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel confident you can create restful nights? I’ll share more soon, but look at this to see the details.

For connected nights,


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Do your legs jiggle and keep you awake?

Mine do from time to time. They start to feel twitchy at the end of the day. If I stretch or move them, they get a little better for a little while, but the urge to move keeps happening.

They’re distracting (at best) and can edge towards annoying, achy, and wakeful. I manage them with extra magnesium or putting my legs up on the wall or a chair.

That erratic twitching and urge to move – even when there are moments of quiet – make it it hard to let go. Just writing about it makes me overly sensitive to little aches in my legs.

But what I had was nothing compared to my friend, Sarah.

She had restless legs syndrome (RLS) many, many nights. If they didn’t keep her up, they woke her in the middle of the night.

Sarah didn’t know she was sleep deprived.

Sarah is a down-to-earth person who hikes, gardens, and raises chickens.

Whenever possible she chooses alternatives to pharmaceutical medications, but she was at the end of her rope.

Our meditation teacher suggested she try Mirapex – he used it for his RLS. So Sarah got a prescription last month.

It not only worked, but it made her realize how sleep deprived she had been.

Sarah and I have done a weight training class together for years. She used to tell me she was worried about getting dementia like her mother – especially when she couldn’t concentrate to solve Sudoku puzzles.

But after her legs stopped interrupting her sleep, she had a whole new outlook on life.

She was clear headed, solved the puzzles, and refreshed. She didn’t know what she had been missing.

What’s depriving you of sleep or your life?

I’m sharing this not just in case your legs are keeping you up.

Because if you’re slogging through your days, if you aren’t sure what else to do to make things better….
…you might find a surprise that can change your life.

It could be learning how to really deeply rest when you can’t sleep, a medication that soothes your legs, or discovering how to experience your values in your everyday life.

As always, I’m happy to assess and create a plan so you can move past what’s holding you down. Contact me for a free consultation – for you, a family member, co-worker, or friend.

I want you to feel fully part of your life, night and day.

For smooth and restful nights,


P.S. I’m excited to start a NEW GROUP this coming fall. So many people I talk to feel isolated in insomnia and out of tune with life.

I’m looking forward creating a small group community, where you can learn to rest into who you really are, night and day.

Keep your eye out for details!

How to Sleep Better: Bere Interviews the Restful Insomniac - YouTube

P.P.S. I had a great time talking with Bere Blissenbach, from Leaderforgood.com, about sleep, kindness, anxiety, and paradox. Listen in!

P.P.P.S Natural remedies for RLS

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I’m a bad meditator.

“No judgment!” say my teachers. “Just return to the breath.”

Yeah, I try to do that, but…. After decades of meditating (on and off), I continue to have the same old struggle with concentration.

Here’s what usually happens when I sit with a meditating friends group. 

The chime starts, and they go deep into a concentrated state. I feel the calm… notice my body… one breath … two breaths….

Then I scratch my cheek… remember that I’m supposed to notice the itch sensation instead of react… return to my breath… get dizzy… think about what a crappy meditator I am… notice the sensation of hearing for a few sounds… look at the patterns on the rug at my feet… stress about the usual stress in my tummy… notice some sounds… doze off… check my watch… think about what to eat when I get home… count more patterns on the rug… and finally, after 45 minutes like this, the ending bell chimes.

My meditating friends calmly beam at their experience. I smile and nod, and feel like the little kid pretending to be grown up around her older sister’s friends.

Still, I keep going because of moments of focus and insight, connecting to my body, and appreciating wisdom from Buddha and meditation teachers. But my concentration struggle becomes self-judgment and meditation becomes something else I “should” do.

That is until a few weeks ago.

There I was, sitting in my car, early to a business meeting. I thought I’d try a little meditation – despite my incessant mindlessness – to get more grounded.

But before I closed my eyes, I had an amazing revelation. What if I stopped worrying about my mindlessness and concentration? What if I didn’t worry about what I was supposed to do? What if…

… meditation was simply time to be kind to myself?

What if I was just kind to whatever came up? It was a relief to let go of doing it wrong, and feeling a time for kindness.

  • Kindness at my breath
  • Kindness at feeling dizzy
  • Kindness at distractions
  • Kindness at thinking I’m a crappy meditator
  • Kindness at hearing sounds
  • Kindness at stress about stress
  • Kindness about a long undone to-do list
  • Kindness at fears of doing well
  • Kindness about what I was wearing
  • Kindness at feeling calm or feeling anxious

That was a powerful meditation in the car, and it changed the following days and nights as well.

Rest into who you really are.

I’m a worrywort. And I worry that I worry too much – which of course doesn’t help.

But what has helped is surrounding my worry with kindness, Okay, sweetpea, you’re worried again. That de-escalated my anxiety by simply stopping the worry that I was worried.

A foundation of kindness helped me present to Microsoft yesterday. (It’s recorded if you know anyone who works there who might be interested.) I was kind about my nervousness and self-critic instead of letting it take over my sense of self. I could be more there and share from the heart.

Because kindness is contagious, I’ve been kinder to others. Though to be honest, it hasn’t yet made me kinder when technology messes up….

Kindness helped me sleep.

Last week I stayed in a motel that had seen better days. The first night there, I couldn’t settle down, and then berated myself about reserving a overly frugal motel, which led to worries if I should have made the trip, if I brought enough cool clothes for the Texas heat, and on and on.

That was not putting me to sleep. So I explored whether kindness would help me rest.

I placed my hand on my slab of distress at my stomach. No need to fix – I couldn’t right then anyway – just feeling and acknowledging the anxiety. There, there, tummy, I know this is tough.

That time for kindness made a big difference. As I accepted myself and my anxiety, I realized the motel was tolerable, despite the groaning microwave and wobbly hooks. Good enough would work, so I could let go, rest, and sleep.

Find your path to self-kindness.

Pay a little kind attention to yourself right now.

  • Nothing you need to change or do, just feel the watercolor wash of self-compassion.
  • Take a kind breath.
  • Set a time – 5 minutes to an hour or a whole day – to create a gentle foundation of kindness.

Kindness as a meditation:

  • However you choose to meditate – sit, stand, walk, or even dance – notice it through the eyes of kindness.
  • Touch into your body’s senses, with kindness. Hear sounds and silences appear and disappear. Feel gravity kindly holding you to the earth. See with soft eyes. Take another kind breath.
  • If you’d like, settle on a home base. That could be your breathing, sounds coming and going, sensations in your hands. A home base is a good viewpoint to notice what else (inevitably) comes up.
  • As thoughts arise and distractions happen, kindly notice your mind. There you are, planning tomorrow’s dinner or thinking of your work project….
  • As emotions arise, attend to thoughts and body tension with kindness. Yep, there’s anxiety again.
  • Notice what happens until it naturally fades, then notice what arises next. Or return to your home base until something else arises. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a time to be kind to yourself.

Who are you when you’re kind?
When stop fighting the natural stress of being human – especially in this unbalanced culture – you have new avenues to tap into you more authentic self. Your authentic imperfect self, because that’s also the natural part of being human.

Kindness to your imperfections, trauma, outdated beliefs, pain… they allow you to be more whole. To remember you already are whole.

When you feel that wholeness, you can let go into rest. You chose to align with who you are, instead of who you should be or wish you were. The wash of kindness can make the tough paths more gentle.

If you’d like some support in learning to be kind and resting into who you really are, let me know. I’d be glad to talk and create a path for you to get there.

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Pollen! Pollenpollenpollenpllenpollenpollenpollen!

Nature is spewing fine powdery stuff onto your car, animal fur, insects, hair, clothes, nostrils, and lungs. It cascades from male cones and flower parts to reproduce with the plants’ female ovules.

Sexy, right? Not if you’re exhausted from an allergy attack.

It’s hard to rest when you can’t breathe, have itchy eyes, irritating coughs, and sneeze so often you sound like a drum roll….

On top of that, your body’s anti-allergy chemicals (like histamine) stimulate wakeful receptors in your brain’s hypothalamus.

Still, you don’t have to wait until next winter to sleep.

By keeping pollen out of your house, your room, and your bed, you’ll have a better chance it won’t invade your nostrils, lungs, and eyes. I’ve gathered these tips to keep your nights more sneeze-free and restful.

For pollen out of the house

Keep more pollen outside (where it can find those plants to fertilize):

  • On days with high pollen or ragweed counts, stay inside as much as possible.
  • If you head outside, do it when the pollen counts are lowest – usually before dawn and in the late afternoon to early evening. Check Pollen.com or online weather sites for pollen levels in your area.
  • Keep windows closed and air-conditioning on. This also lowers humidity, which helps. If you don’t have AC, keep your curtains closed and wash or vacuum them as often as possible.
  • Remove your shoes (some suggest keeping them outside) and even change your clothes right when you come in the house.
  • Vacuum often with ones that remove allergens from the air. Empty or change the vacuum bag outside.
  • Brush your pets and wipe their paws when they enter, and vacuum that space. Bathe pets often, and consider keeping them in restricted areas of your house.
For pollen out of the bedroom

Increase the pollen-free levels in your bedroom:

  • Change into your PJs outside your bedroom, especially if these are clothes you wore outside. And don’t bring the clothes back into the room!
  • Before you go to bed, take a shower to wash allergens off your skin and hair so you won’t sleep on a pollen-leaden pillowcase. Hair products can be a magnet for pollen. (If you take a hot shower, make sure you have enough time for your body to cool back down, which will help you sleep.)
  • Wash your sheets in hot water to get rid of allergen buildup.
  • Give indoor/outdoor pets beds of their own during allergy season. If they can sleep outside your bedroom, all the better.
  • Consider investing in a room air purifier or dehumidifier to keep your sleeping air as clean and dry as possible.
Strengthen your body’s responses inside and out

You can have an impact on your body’s responses to pollen:

  • Try a neti pot to clean your nasal passages: You pour saline solution in one nostril and it comes out the other one (along with pollen and other gunk). I use mine daily, but if you’re not a fan, saline spray can also help. Eye drops, saline or otherwise, rinse pollen from your eyes.
  • Steam your head – a hot shower helps, but direct steam is strong medicine. Drape a towel over your head and over a pot of steaming (but not boiling) water, off heat. Take breaks as needed when it’s too hot. Add a drop of eucalyptus oil, if you’re stuffy. Or try facial steam inhalators.
  • Eat foods like apples and garlic, which contain antioxidants that appear to suppress the production of histamine. Nuts and fish contain fatty acids that help lower inflammation (those following a Mediterranean-style diet are less likely to have allergy symptoms).
  • Fermented foods like plain yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi promote a healthy immune system to reduce the body’s response to allergens.
  • Skip the nightcap. Alcohol can make common hay fever symptoms like sneezing, itching, and coughing even more uncomfortable, particularly for women.
  • Consider immunotherapy – exposing your immune system to tiny amounts of the thing that you’re allergic to. Over time, it teaches your immune system that the allergens aren’t foreign invaders, so it doesn’t need to react with an allergic response.
  • Practice stress-reducing techniques – yoga, meditation, soothing music, journaling. Living with high chronic stress negatively impacts your immune system, and that only exacerbates your already stressful seasonal symptoms.
Change your relationship with allergies to rest

Along with getting physical distance from pollen, internally support your healing and increase your calm.

I often guide my clients through a healing body response using all the senses, from what you see, hear, feel, and perceive.

  • Take a moment to take a gentle breath… settle in… and visualize magical sprays or mists infusing where the allergies are affecting you. Notice the color, density, temperature, movement, and feeling of the sprays. Sense them dissipating the intensity of your allergic response. Feel them soothing itchy eyes, unblock stuffed sinuses, etc. Let the soothing mists bring moments of relaxation and calm, which continue to grow.

No, visualization is not an instant cure, but it does provide a healing focus which helps move you to rest. And resting helps support your body’s response to that proliferous pollen.

Let me know how these tips affect your spring nights.

Wishing you restful nights,


P.S. The best part of my week is helping people learn to rest, so they can reduce anxiety and live the life they crave.

I have space for more clients, and a  free consultation is the place to see if we’re a good fit – for you, a family member, co-worker, or friend.
Please share…

Do you know one or two people who would be helped by these articles? Let them know and encourage them to subscribe by forwarding this link:
https://restfulinsomnia.com/contact-restful-insomnia. I appreciate it.

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Jill Prescott, Spiritual Badass, is going to talk to me about the Truth of Insomnia — hope you can join us.  

Just click and follow this link, then “see first” to be notified when we go live.
This is what Jill said about our upcoming conversation:

“I want to tell the truth about how chasing sleep keeps you awake.” 

“Ok Sondra Kornblatt, you’ve got my attention!”

“This sleep coach (so cool!!) is down for telling the truth about what it takes to get a good night sleep, even when life is stressful. Her reasons for this are very compelling, and you’ll have to join us to hear why.” 

“See you all here on Thursday March 28th at 3:00 PM!”

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Restful Insomnia by Tara Backes - 4M ago
My Dog Has Insomnia

Soothing our tough nights of anxiety and sadness

I had a plan on how to manage my dog, Sadie, when she aged.

As she got less mobile, I planned to put her in the playroom (which has a door to the outside), and sleep down there, too.

She’d be on pain meds, sleep a lot, and I’d hold her whenever she naturally passed away. It would be very sad, but also peaceful.

But I didn’t know that even sweet dogs get anxiety.

Sadie is the sweetest dog in the world, and I figured that she’d stay that way. But I didn’t know that this would happen:

  • Geriatric vestibular syndrome (kinda like vertigo), where she’d reel like a drunken sailor.
  • Falling down when she turned her head too quickly.
  • A head tilt like the drawings in Hyperbole and a Half.
  • Separation anxiety so intense – rapid panting and heart rate, unending pacing, vehement digging of the blankets laid on the rug – that one night I took her to the vet ER at 2 am.
  • Dog insomnia… for a dog who is like a cat in disguise and loved sleep

I was glad Restful Insomnia techniques helped her.

I intervened in Sadie’s anxiety/ insomnia by gently setting her down on the ground and laying her head on the rug. (I’m glad she’s not a biter, but she let me know when she had to get up.)

After a while, her rapid panting would turn into rapid snorts. Finally, she’d have a long shuddery inhale… and there it is, a real exhale. Followed by longer breaths and a more relaxed body.

Even if she got up again, each nanosecond of restful parasympathetic response meant she would calm down easier the next time. And eventually her body would let her get the sleep she was desperate for.

And the tools worked for me, too.

Being fluent in Restful Insomnia tools helped me get through the roughest nights.

Like last Tuesday at 3 am, when I spent 45 minutes cleaning her diaper, under her tail, and the mess after she didn’t make it to the door in time.

Even though I really, really, really didn’t like cleaning that mess, I didn’t have the extra stress of worrying about insomnia. Because I knew when I finally got back to bed (or the sofa), I could rest.

I snuggled under the blankets and shifted my mind – from what I had to do the next day, from the wakefulness of the lights and activity, from worrying that all the chucks I laid under Sadie would shift if she had another episode… and focused on my body.

I could dispel my irrational anger at her stubbornness and disruption she’s not meaning to cause. I moved to rest and significantly increased the odds of a faster return to sleep, which indeed happened.

Relishing the cuddles of today.

All of that kept me more relaxed during the worst of it, and with more energy the next day.

It’s helping me make it through where she is right now, instead of how I thought it would be. I can relish walking Sadie to the park and enjoy her cuddles while I have them.

I hope you have some cuddles of your own – from a human, animal, or even curled in a blanket.

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Restful Insomnia by Tara Backes - 4M ago

Release your biggest obstacles to rest and sleep.

When you stayed up way past bedtime as a kid, did your grown-up ever yell at you to “just go to sleep already!”

And do you ever yell that at yourself when you have insomnia? Ah, if ordering yourself to sleep ever worked….

Maybe you’ve tried remedies: melatonin or magnesium, exercise or relaxation, new mattress or mind-space headband. They might help sometimes – or not when you most need it. Whether you don’t sleep or worry you won’t, insomnia crimps your nights.

What works for others doesn’t matter

How you experience insomnia – what causes it, exacerbates it, and how you relate to it – make a huge difference in finding your pathways to rest.

What is your biggest issue with insomnia?

  • Edginess at noise or disruptions that keep you from settling down
  • Body tension that keeps you from physical rest
  • A mind that just keeps going
  • Taxing emotions, like anxiety, anger, grief, or loneliness
  • Stressing over dilemmas, because your life is not what you want

Insomnia is not a one-size fits all, and certainly not one-solution fits all.

Know your biggest issue to find pathways to rest

In Restful Insomnia, I help people understand their own brand of insomnia. Once we have that, they learn the tools that work best for them.

I love seeing clients and students develop a new relationship to insomnia, so they can renew, align, and welcome sleep.

I’m seeing more and more people who can’t make a difference in the world or live the lives they want, because they’re so drained from sleepless nights. They can’t access their own resilience and oomph to show up the way they want to.

I want more people to get back to themselves, night and day. So, this month, I want to help as many as possible, for free.

Unfortunately, I’m seeing more and more people who can’t make a difference in the world or live the lives they want, because they’re so drained from sleepless nights. They can’t access their own resilience and oomph to show up the way they want to.

I want more people to get back to themselves, night and day. So, this month, I’ve set myself a goal to help as many as possible, for free.

30 free assessments and consultations in 30 days

I want to do as many free assessments and consultations as possible – at least 30 – in the next 30 days.

In it, we’ll explore what the heck is really going on during your sleepless hours. What are the biggest barriers to getting the rest you need? How can you get through them?

After we talk, you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize the biggest issues that keep you from rest right now
  • Know an effective first step to use that night
  • Have a plan so you can move to more restful nights. That might include options for us to work together, if appropriate.

All this in 30-40 minutes.

Stressful times need rested minds (and bodies)

Let’s talk and change your nights, just click here if you’re ready to schedule. Or learn more about the free consultations/ assessments.

They’ll help you (or someone you know who is stressed and sleepless) get unstuck from the corner of hopeless insomnia.

I can’t wait to connect, so you can find your path to renew, rest, and welcome sleep.

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What’s the difference between value and reciprocity?
The heart expands when energy flows both ways.

I love working with my clients, but my heart wants to serve more. So I’m widening my view.

Since I’ve begun Restful Insomnia, I approached my pricing from the realm of value – that is, all that you get when you deeply rest and have energy for life. The ability to be present in work, relationships, parenting, health, self-esteem, thinking, emotions, and your true self are beyond worthwhile.

All that’s true, and… value is just one perspective. I’ve been prompted to see my work that way, from a capitalistic perspective (supply and demand, given how unique Restful Insomnia is) and even “vibrating with the highest” new-age view. However, both capitalism and “vibrating with the highest” have their limited truths.

Exchange for mutual benefit

Now, instead of looking at my work from its value (such a subjective term, anyway), I’m seeing it through reciprocity, defined as “exchanging things with others for mutual benefit.”

What’s true in my life and work is this… the more I share:

  • More people get to experience rest… which not only changes nights, but for many, gives them their life back.
  • The happier my heart is, because I’m doing the work I love and am called to do.
  • Reciprocity increases – that is, as as I share my resources around sleep and rest with clients, their resources flow to me (e.g., payment, but that word doesn’t have the energy I like).
Increasing reciprocity

To that end I’ve sat with what I charge for sessions on a deep levels, including mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. My intention is to increase reciprocity, increase the accessibility to my work for so many who need it.

Before, my prices for nine sessions of coaching on all the pathways to rest were $1170, or three payments of $400/ month.

The new pricing that sits well in my heart is $810 for these nine sessions (or three monthly payments of $300).

My calculator says that is a 30% reduction for the full session payment. But I didn’t do it for the math, I did it to serve more people.

I hope that you, or someone you know, will be pulled by their hearts to get out of the morass of insomnia and leaden days. That they will learn how to change how they relate to insomnia, and to their lives.

To that end, in March I will begin my 30-in-30 challenge, to have 30 free consultations in 30 days. Feel free to connect about a free consultation now, or keep an eye out for the emails I’ll be sending out soon.

Wishing you restful nights, led by your loving heart. Because I know for a fact that feels good!

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What gives you joy during the day? Better yet, what would you do with free time and life energy? Because believe it or not, that can lead you to rest.

My client Chad hated going to bedtime. He’d rather do his favorite the nerdy things – puzzles, reading, video games, even work – than waste his time with sleep. Add to that his periodic nightmares (best guess that was from sleep apnea), going to bed wasn’t filled with joy and anticipation.

He knew he should sleep, and the “blah-blah-blah good reasons.” But didn’t want to deal with it directly. He just wanted sleep to *POOF!* magically overtake him.

Sometimes he could sleep after exhausting himself. Other times, especially in cycles of lighter sleep, he’d lay there and think. He liked thinking, being amusing and clever, despite his frustration that sleep wouldn’t work its magic.

And the next day? He just felt like ballast on a slow moving ship. He was way too wasted to have amusing and clever thoughts.

He knew his life was falling apart without rest and sleep, which was why he started working with me. But we’d have to find a way around his bedtime resistance to create inroads to rest.

Your hobbies customize your Restful Insomnia tools

Does what you do in your free time affect your ability to rest? At the first session with my insomnia clients, I ask about hobbies.

That’s because whether you like to run, see movies, play video games, knit, sing in a chorus – they all let me know how life works when it’s going well for you.

When we work together, I customize techniques that suit your learning style, engaging you in the pathways to rest. Rules and shoulds don’t get you very far, if they don’t speak your language of life.

Near the end of Chad’s recount of his spare-time pleasures, he sheepishly admitted he was a new fan of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) – a fantasy role-playing game set in an imaginary world based loosely on medieval myth.

He wasn’t as interested in the wins or the game, Chad liked creating the characters – like Fenmore, a runt giant folk hero with the halflings.

He spent hours imagining these characters’ friends, enemies, skills, challenges, strengths, and quirks. But he never thought about how they spent their nights.

Chad’s characters learned their first pathway

At the next session, Chad and I investigated the first pathway to rest: his relationship to sleep, rest, and the night. He mentioned again how he dreaded bedtime, he just wanted to fall off the cliff of deep sleep.

I asked him how he rested. “Catching up with the Economist, doing some chores, or playing with the cat.”

“Is this before bed?” I asked.

“Oh right, you want to know how I rest at night? I just read until I’m exhausted…. I don’t know how to rest.”

I knew he could learn, it’s an innate part of being human. “How does Fenmore rest?” I asked.

Chad’s face lit up. “Ohhhh, imagining D&D characters when I can’t sleep! That would be much better.”

I mentioned that D&D at night was not just the usual mind-stimulating stories. Instead, the focus was on how they rested, and what resonated for him for his own rest. He might explore things like:

  • Where do they like to sleep?
  • How do they transition to rest, let go of the day?
  • What happens in their bodies? What areas do they let go of first? Where are they tense?
  • Where do their minds go?
  • If they’re in dangerous medieval times, how do they feel safe?
  • If sleep doesn’t come, what do they do to rest?

Chad immediately described how Fenmore would stretch as far as he could in a bed that barely fit his 7½ foot height, how he had confidence in his skills so nothing was a problem.

But for Chad himself to learn to rest, I suggested he check out one of his characters who wasn’t so impressive in managing the land of D&D.

Chad left with a smile on his face, and came back to the next session that way as well.

We returned to D&D in later sessions, talking about his environment, mind, and emotions. The images of imaginary friends resting helped him let go a bit more, and feel rest in his body… often leading to sleep as well.

What’s your D&D?

Chad didn’t think at first he could like rest, but he found his way.

I believe we all have the resources to care for ourselves much better. And sometimes they are right under our noses.

You can use your learning style to help you rest:

If you’re kinesthetic or body-based:

  • You like to think out ideas, problems, or issues while doing something physical – running, dancing, walking. Or you like to learn to cook something new by doing it with the expert.
  • Try slowly relaxing your body from the head to the toes, feeling each tight spot letting go just 5-10%. Or imagine getting a massage.

If you’re auditory:

  • You like to read, listen to music, talk things out with friends. Or learn to cook something new by reading the recipe.
  • Tell yourself a story about how your favorite character falls asleep.

If you’re visual:

  • You like paintings, visual arts, books with pictures or diagrams. Or learn to cook through pictures or seeing someone make it.
  • Imagine resting in one of your favorite spots in the world, real or imagined. Notice as many details as you can, from sand, leaves, the bedspread. Then imagine it getting darker, maybe a sunset, and how the images get less pronounced, more sleepy, as you are.

Try it tonight, and let me know how it went!

P.S. If you’re not able to move into rest, no matter how hard you try, we can find some avenues you may not have yet considered. A free assessment of your nights, with a 30-minute conversation, can help you see if working with me will help you rest at night.

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Weighted blankets are all the thing.

I heard of them long ago for children with autism or Sensory Processing Disorder (over- or under-responding to sensory experiences, which affects sleep, clothing, food, mood, etc.). Weighted blankets help their central nervous system integrate touch and inner body sense.

In the last year or so, weighted blankets have been touted for insomnia. Theory is they help your central nervous system with anxiety and sleep, like a good hug or swaddling to babies.

Two pathways to rest 

I was curious about how these blankets affect two paths to rest: environment and body.
The path for the environment explores the physical aspects (cool, dark, quiet) and your relationship to it (when it’s warmer, lighter, or noisier than you’d like) so you can rest and sleep.

The path for the body is about how you can connect with your body, vs. thinking about the minimum you can do so it keeps taking care of you.

While there’s not much research on weighted blankets yet, my theory is that they remind your unconscious self about being in the womb before birth. That’s a cozy place, and you likely slept pretty well there – about 90-95% of the day!

In present day life, I wondered this: Would weighted blankets create a cocoon to keep you more in your body than the wakeful mind?

Borrowed blankie

Before I invested $70-175 in a new one, I found one to borrow from my neighborhood online buy-nothing group.

It was heavy and big – I shlepped it home in a giant Ikea bag.

First I wrapped up in it on my sofa. I’ve found that sitting swaddled, wrapping a blanket tightly around me, can soothe my food compulsions. The heavy weight secured me in my body without much effort to hold a regular blanket close. So far, so good.

Instant cuddling at night

That night, I took the weighted blanket upstairs. With a bit of effort, I smoothed it on my bed, then pushed under it at bedtime.

I was worried about smushing my toes as I slept, but they were fine. I expected it to be more like one of those lead aprons used for x-rays at the dentist, but this one had heavy beads – maybe glass – on the edges, the middle was just fluffy fleece blanket.
I didn’t fall asleep any faster, but I noticed the times of lighter sleep were less wakeful…until I got too warm – one of my least favorite things when I want to sleep.

Fortunately, it was a cold night, so I stuck one foot out of the blanket and focused on cool parts of my body. Like I mentioned with the path of the environment, I managed my relationship to the environment so I could rest and sleep.

I’ve since found another one, (I love my buy-nothing group!) without fleece. I’m starting to really like that feeling of being hugged when I’m in bed, and it’s not too warm.

And I’ll shop around for another lighter one – they run from 7-25 pounds – to use on the couch, when I meditate, or when the food cravings strike.

Have you used a weighted blanket? What do you think? If you’re interested in buying one, you’ll find some links below.

Free consultation: Develop your paths to rest and sleep 

Beyond cuddling with your blankie, if you’re having trouble at night, let’s explore your pathways to deep rest (the necessary first step to sleep) in a free consultation.

When you join me for 30-40 minutes, we’ll take stock of what really happens during your sleepless hours. What are your biggest barriers to getting the rest you need? We’ll also discuss options to help you move through them.

Just click here to learn more, and to set up time we can talk.

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