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Can reiki help me sleep better?

Can Reiki help me sleep better?
Sleep better with Reiki

Based on an article by Linda Dieffenbach

Following my holiday, we have been focusing on the element of rest this week in the Self-Care Community. On a physical level, this well-being element is all about sleep, and then there are the rest, self-care and supportive aspects of balancing the mind, body and soul.

With all its benefits, perhaps you have been wondering – can Reiki help me sleep better, too?

Insomnia and sleep problems are pervasive challenges. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 33-50% of adults struggle with occasional sleep problems, whereas nearly 15% struggle with chronic insomnia.

Impact of sleep disruption

If you have ever dealt with a bad night's sleep, you'll know how much it can impact how you feel and your ability to function the next day. Studies show that even occasional sleepless nights can have adverse short and long-term effects on our health, even in otherwise healthy people.

Causes of sleep disruption

Sleep disturbances have many potential causes; some we can manage while others present a greater challenge. Possible causes of insomnia and sleep disturbances include:

  • Stress - life transitions, challenges, worry, traumatic events (past or current)

  • Inconsistent or disrupted schedule causing disruption in the circadian rhythms - e.g. work schedule, travel

  • Poor sleep hygiene - inconsistent sleep schedule, TV or screen time before bedtime or while falling asleep, overeating late in the evening, too much activity close to bedtime

  • Stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine

  • Low levels of physical activity

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Medication side effects

  • Certain medical conditions - e.g. cancer, chronic pain, asthma, COPD

  • Sleep disorders - e.g. restless leg syndrome, sleep apnoea, delayed sleep phase disorder.

  • The menstrual cycle, perimenopause, and menopause

  • Ageing - changes in our internal clock, decreased activity levels, health changes, and side effects from increased medications

  • Environmental causes - noise, light, uncomfortable bedroom or bed, heat, humidity, interruptions from housemates or pets

How Reiki can help with insomnia and disrupted sleep

As you can see, many things influence our ability to get a good night's sleep. While external factors and medical conditions can affect our sleep, there are many factors within our control that we can work on to help us sleep better. For example, we can practice good sleep hygiene, such as turning off screens an hour or so before bedtime, avoiding caffeine later in the day, investing in a good mattress and supportive bedding, keeping our bedroom at a comfortable temperature, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, decreasing noise and interruptions during the night. These steps will all contribute to a better night's rest.

Reiki is a wonderful tool to help with sleep too! Essentially, Reiki activates our parasympathetic nervous system, putting our body into 'Rest and Restore' mode. This is why it is so beneficial to the body on so many levels, as it manages the general balance and function of our vital organs when we are not stressed. Reiki brings deep relaxation to the body, mind, and energy system.

I often joke that I am a "professional nap facilitator", given the number of people that fall asleep on my couch. Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of people dealing with all levels of life and physical challenges, including insomnia and sleep challenges. After a Reiki session, almost universally, they report feeling deeply relaxed and much calmer. For those with sleep challenges, clients say they slept better following the session and for several days to a week after. With regular Reiki sessions and changes in their nightly sleep routines, many have experienced significant improvement in their overall sleep patterns.

Using Reiki to improve your sleep

When I first learned Reiki, I was a full-time accountant and working part-time on building my therapy business. Naturally, my stress levels were high, and I did not make much time for self-care. However, I would give myself a Reiki treatment every night while falling asleep. Most nights, I fell asleep mid-way through a complete body treatment and would sleep through the night. I would wake up feeling more rested and energised than before I began this practice.

If you are attuned to Reiki, I recommend maintaining a routine of daily self-treatments and using Reiki to help whenever you struggle to sleep.

Whether you are Reiki attuned or not, here are some ideas to try before drifting off:

1. Begin by taking a few deep breaths. Take a long, deep inhale. Exhale fully while focusing intently on your body and how it feels. After doing this a few times, slow your exhale, so it's twice as long as your inhale.

2. Place your hands over your Heart, sending Reiki or Self-Love to yourself to calm your nervous system. Hold for as long as you wish.

3. Place hands over the eyes – sending Reiki or Love to quiet the mind and lower stress levels for 5 minutes, then place one hand over the Heart and the other hand over the Belly to regulate heart rate and soothe the nervous system.

4. Follow your intuitive guidance and body wisdom to position the hands and send Reiki or Self-Love to where it is most needed for you.

5. Place one hand on your Heart and the other on your Belly, and as you breathe, think of three things you are grateful for, three things you appreciated during your days, and give thanks.

Whether attuned to Reiki or not, receiving Reiki regularly from a skilled practitioner will help bring your body into a state of greater balance and well-being which naturally helps support better sleep.

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” Saint Francis De Sales

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