Light up your DREAM POWERS for a HAPPY NEW YEAR
If you’re looking to give your decade a jump start, be sure to focus on sleep and dreams. Whatever your greatest goal, quality dreaming can play a role. Wanna lose weight? It’s easier when you sleep well. Trying to grasp a new skill? Dreams help you learn. Looking to get out of a rut? Let your dreams inspire a way. It’s amazing what you can do in your sleep, and for a happy, healthy, balanced life — you gotta get your Zzz’s.
Make it your most dreamy decade ever. Foster and honor your dreams. Enjoy ’em. Have fun.
You know how these lists work… scan it for things that jump out for you, pick a few you’d like to do, and let’s get dreaming!
20 Ways to Get Dreaming
(Your life will thank you!)
These tablets, TVs and phones are really hurting our sleep. They emit blue light, which suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin and confuses our circadian rhythyms. In other words, they’re a real hinderance to sleep and dreams. I know this one feels hard, but aim to power down an hour before bed. You can do it. Read a book instead!
Tuck Yourself In
Parents understand the importance of sending their child off to dreamland feeling cozied-in, safe and sound, with a bedtime story often helping them make the transition into sleep. Then we grow up and have to take the reigns of our own tuck-in, which we frankly suck at. If you don’t have a good bedtime ritual, it’s high time you got back to being properly tucked in. Start by getting your thoughts and worries out of your head by writing in your journal. Then crawl under a favorite blanket and enjoy a bedtime story. This can be some inspiration reading before turning out the lights, or make up the story in your mind and visualize your perfect tomorrow. There, you’ve been tucked and are ready for sweet dreams.
What time do you go to bed? How early do you rise? Whatever the answer, it only matters that it works for you and that it’s consistent. Having a regularly scheduled time that you go to sleep and rise is one of the essentials for good sleep hygiene. When you have irregular sleep and wake times, like over the weekend or after a bad night’s sleep, your biological clock gets confused. Sleep doctors call this “social jet lag.” Get on a schedule.
Stretch It Out
The body stores a lot of stress and strain of the day, and sometimes it can be hard to comfortably drift to sleep with aches and pains. A few minutes of stretching is a great way to release away the day. Check out this slideshow from Shape.com that has ten perfect-for-bed yoga poses.
A Warm Bath
According to a recent study, taking a 10-15 minute, warm shower or bath one to two hours before going to bed will help you fall asleep more quickly and stay in a deep, restful sleep through the night. This trick is also a blissful treat. You deserve to give this one a try.
Keep It Cool
So you’ve had your warm bath or shower and let your body experience the cool down effect before crawling under the covers (if using the tip above), and now it’s important that your room temperature not be too hot or too cold. So, what constitutes a temperature that’s just right? According to the National Sleep Foundation, that would be around 65 degrees. This cooler temperature can be a game changer for people who struggle with falling asleep. Your body temperature naturally drops in preparation for sleep and experts say this lower thermostat range aids the process.
Rock yourself to sleep
Gemstones are wonderful adornments for our sleep sanctuaries — they’re beautiful and serene and are believed to hold magic. They certainly bring a beautiful sparkle to your bedside table, while making a lovely symbolic gesture. Here in Tucson, we host the worlds largest gem and mineral show each year. In honor of the 2019 show, I wrote this post which highlights three great options to rock yourself to sleep.
There’s a distinct connection between scent and emotion that we can take advantage of to help us sleep. According to sleep.org, some great scent options for relaxation include lavendar, vanilla, valerian, and jasmine. To integrate your favorite peaceful aroma into your sleep sanctuary, try this: Put a few drops of quality essential oil into a spray bottle with water and use as a light bedding mist, or place a few drops onto a cloth and place under your pillow before bed.
Conscious breathing is one of the best things you can do in any situation where you are trying to relax, ease stress, and even fall asleep. One of the famous relaxation breathing techniques is known as the “4-7-8 Breath.” I like this one, ’cause it’s really easy to remember. It involves breathing in to a count of four seconds, holding the breath for seven seconds, then exhaling to a count of eight. See Dr. Andrew Weil demonstrate it here.
Don’t let your problems keep you up at night, when there’s a committee of sleep just waiting to help you work through it all. Dream incubation is one of the first ways I started to consciously work with my dreams. It doesn’t take special knowledge or training and has been shown to be an effective process that any of us can do. Click on over to How to Dream Up a Solution to learn more.
Ditch the Alarm
Unable to wake without an alarm clock? If that’s the case, it’s a good indication you have some sleep deprivation. A well rested person will wake naturally and if you have a consistent time you need to be awake, you can easily train yourself to rise on time — IF you’re getting enough sleep. Attempt shifting your bedtime to 15 minutes earlier, and if that doesn’t work add another 15 minutes to find the perfect bedtime for you. Jolting ourselves awake mid sleep cycle is very disruptive to how we function (and it makes remembering your dreams nearly impossible). If you have to keep an alarm clock, transition to one that’s designed to gently rouse you to waking, such as these wake-up with light alarm clocks.
Write Your Dreams Down
“I had the strangest dream,” is a phrase often followed up with “I can’t remember it.” My #1 tip for aspiring dream catchers is to write your dreams down. This is your best bet for improving dream recall. As you capture dream memories before they slip away, you’ll find yourself starting to recall more and more dreams. Dreams are fleeting and the only way to ensure you’ll remember them is to write them down just after waking. If time’s tight, just jot down few highlights or points that will jolt your recollection later.
Give it a Title
One of the first things you can do to start working with your dream is to give your dream a title. What is the main thought, feeling, or idea that the dream brings to mind and what title would you give it if it were a movie? It’s amazing how revealing this one step can be.
Feel it Out
Research shows that our waking emotional experiences relate to the emotions we have in our dreams. So, emotions are the first clue why you had that dream. Interestingly, it’s the emotions we tend to push down and ignore that are even more likely to surface in the night. When logging your dream memories, be sure to include in your descriptions how you were feeling inside the dream. Your dreams are working through the events, thoughts, and feelings of your prior day or two. Consider when this emotion came up for you.
Set a Dream Date
If you really want to develop a strong relationship with your dreaming self for inspiration, ideas, aha’s, and insights, I recommend you set a date — a “dream date.” It’s hard for any of us with a regular life (i.e. stress, demands, tasks) to take time out to explore our dreams. Making it a priority, however, can be life changing and worth the effort. I find that setting aside a special time each week to connect with my dreams is the best way to foster my dream relationship. In this post I share how to plan a dream date.
Once you’ve worked with a dream and discovered insights from it, aim to create a way to integrate the dream’s teaching into your life. This is a type of “dream alchemy” that can transform your sleeping dream into value for your waking life. Every dream holds an opportunity to explore something new about yourself and your life. What idea does your dream inspire? You’ll be amazed at the potential when you start putting your dreams to work.
Learn to Lucid
If you really want to take your dreaming to a whole new level, venture into some lucid dreaming. This is one of those highly marketed dream practices that’s often made out to sound easier than it is. In reality, most of us will have to work pretty hard at getting good at lucid dreaming. But nothing can compare to these transformative dream experience. You can get yourself started with these 4 Steps to Lucid Land.
Share Your Dreams
Incredible, confusing, and sometimes disturbing, dreams are something we instinctively want to share. Honor this intimate and vital part of yourself by seeking out a local dream circle or a close friend or loved one who likes to talk about their dreams, too. If you’d prefere to share your dream with someone who can also be your dream guide, check out my DreamDiscovery offering.
Make it Art
One of the greatest gifts our collective dreams has given the world can be found in the arts. Countless paintings, movies, books, and songs have come directly from the dreams of their creators. The great novelist John Steinbeck was quoted as saying, “It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” Do what the greats throughout time have done when they hit a creative wall — turn to your dreams for ideas and make art!
Keep On Dreaming!
There you have it, a collection of inspirations to get your decade of dreaming started. I hope it’s given you some motivation to focus on your sleep and dreams in the new year. Incredible breakthroughs and personal growth abound when we make dreaming a priority. Whatever your preferences or process, just be sure you keep on dreaming!