Festival of Sleep

The Festival of Sleep Day is celebrated on 3rd January each year. I was unable to find out the origins of it, however, with Christmas and New Year finally over, the decorations packed away and life about to return to the daily grind, it seemed too good an opportunity not to have another celebration so soon into the new year.

How do you sleep? No problem or do you struggle every night?

Who doesn’t love crawling into bed and getting some lovely, well deserved sleep? I first published this blog post in Jan 2017 and it’s still relevant today.

A lack of sleep or regular patterns of poor sleep puts you at increased risk of some serious medical conditions, including obesity and diabetes as it can affect how your body stores carbohydrates leading to weight gain.

More can be found here on the NHS website here

If you are not able to participate in the Festival of Sleep Day but are regularly finding it difficult to sleep, try the following simple technique to at least get some relaxation into your day.

You would be amazed at how easy it is to help yourself feel calm and relaxed. I’m going to help you by giving some easy-to-follow pointers. You can do this anywhere as long as you are not disturbed.

Deep breathing for relaxation

Now take a deep breath and feel how it feels as the cool air enters your nose, and your throat and goes down into your lungs. Hold that for a moment then slowly breathe out. Aaah! Notice how good that feels. Say the words ‘calm and relaxed’ to yourself.

Breathe deeply again and feel how it feels. Keep doing this. Push your tummy out so you are breathing with the whole of your body.

Relax ALL your muscles

Learn some relaxation techniques regularly

Relax all your muscles

Now you can relax your body some more. Start with your feet. Tense up all the muscles in your feet as tight as you can. Hold this for ten seconds. Then let go. Repeat this. Then move up your body repeating this tense and relax routine. First your calves, then your thighs, then your tummy and lower back, then your core, then raise your shoulders and let them drop, releasing all the tension. Tense and relax your upper arms and then your forearms. Then, one by one concentrate on your fingers, first relax your thumbs, then your index fingers, middle fingers, ring fingers, little fingers. Notice how your hands feel, they may feel slightly warm or tingle a bit. That is a sign you are relaxing.

Focus on your spine and imagine each part letting go of any tensions. The focus on your neck and then on your jaw. Let your tongue fall to the bottom of your mouth, and let your jaw relax. Allow that feeling of relaxation to slowly spread up your face to your head, then let it spread down the back of your head.

Colours to calm you

Now imagine your favourite colour. Close your eyes for a moment and see that colour. Open your eyes and imagine everything around you being washed or tinted with that favourite colour. Now imagine as you breathe in the air you are breathing in a gentle shade of that colour, then as you breathe out imagine that colour becomes stronger. Repeat this several times and feel yourself surrounded by that colour from your breath. That colour is surrounding and protecting you with a calm gentle energy.

Enjoy feeling calm

Imagine yourself surrounded by that most beautiful colour. Your favourite colour. Enjoy that feeling. Put your hands out and feel that colour. Breathe it in and feel that calm energy. Enjoy this for as long as you want. Then stretch your limbs and get on with your day, feeling refreshed and relaxed.

How you can use this relaxation technique

This is such a simple technique, and I hope you enjoyed doing this. You can do this whenever you want and wherever you want. If you are preparing to participate in the Festival of Sleep I hope you enjoy the time you have given yourself.