Sunday night was one of those nights where everything conspired against sleep. I was anxiously waiting to see a weekly television segment that came on at 9:00 one minute… and the next minute it was almost midnight. I awoke to a blaring television and brights lights on my sofa!
” Oh NO!”…. not again! I will never get back to sleep now!” I was right… tossing and turning and turning and tossing were my only two nocturnal options!
So as I groggily turned on an early morning show… my attention was immediately caught when the anchor girl reported… ” Having trouble sleeping… try savoring… will be right back with this new finding!”
” Savoring?” I muttered… savoring what? A dessert, a memory, an experience? ( Actually I was right on all three accounts.) Savor as a verb means to taste and as a noun… a pleasant taste or flavor. But ” savoring” as a noun?
For so long …sleep analysts have put the most emphasis on pre-sleep routines to help get a good night’s sleep… like fixed bed times, window screens on, television screens off… room temperatures, etc….all contributing to relaxing routines leading to uninterrupted sleep.
Now sleep researchers say that what we think about, as we try to go to sleep, is just as important as bedtime rituals.
The main problem in not being able to fall asleep is rumination… not being able to turn our minds off… especially worrisome issues. Savoring gives your brain something else to focus on… something emotionally compelling and pleasurable.
We should decide what our imaginative or past experience is going to be before we try to fall asleep. In one of the articles I researched …a man was remembering a ferry ride across Lake Michigan as a child. He pictured himself back on the ship, listening to the whirl of the engines, the smell of steam, the rushing water and the cold spray on his face. The more detailed the five senses include …the more drawn our brain is to the story and the better chance that the exasperating rumination stops. The secret is becoming completely pulled into the experience or memory so deeply we fall from it to unconsciousness.
It is different from gratitude because that involves thinking like meditating and trying to be ” mindful” requires quieting your mind… that can also keep one awake.
Sleep researchers encourage getting ruminating issues off your mind by dealing with them before you go to bed ( making to do lists, notes about a morning meeting, etc)
I decided to ” savor” the moment when I chose the last memory of Brooke and I eating our crème broule surrounded by a smiling, clapping waitress, rich sauce, crunchy topping, delicious aroma and hundreds of bright white luminaries to end an old girlfriend fun get-away!
So until tomorrow… Good morning and good night!
Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh