Sleep is nature’s way of recharging our batteries and raising our energy levels. When a person is not able to sleep properly it has a bearing on his or her mental and physical health in multiple ways.
One in three people may suffer from some form of insomnia during their lifetime. Inability to sleep is more common than you think and can affect anyone, anytime, anywhere for a wide variety of reasons.
But there is a need for greater awareness on dealing with insomnia and many people continue to suffer in silence. Fo more information on insomnia, follow the link to this helpful article.
Watch this short 2 minute film to see how a young girl found healing from her insomnia and the gift of sleep from a magical forest.
How Forests Help
Forests have the ability to calm people down and soothe troubled minds. It has been proven that silent walks in the woods calm areas of your brain that are related to stress and anxiety.
Nature helps you slow down your thoughts. It makes you see yourself as a small part of a larger whole. This can shift focus from your individual anxieties and problems and produce insights and philosophies that bring peace.
The next time you are in a forest, pay close attention to not just what you see but also to the sounds and the smells in the forest. When you actively engage with the woods with all your senses, then you are redirecting your brain to move away from sleep preventing thoughts and giving it the much desired time to unwind.
Benefits of a good sleep
When you sleep well you wake up feeling positive and have the energy to go through your day with vigour and zest.
A good sleep affects your emotional balance which in turn creates an impact on the quality of your relationships as well as interactions with other people.
The quality of sleep is linked with the ability of making better judgements and decisions. When your mind is well rested it is sharp and alert. On the other hand sleeplessness can hinder your decision making skills. In fact lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of road accidents.
The healing ability of your body and the immune system also rely on your sleeping conditions and habits.
Tips for better sleep
The secret of a good sleep lies in it’s preparation. Maintain a proper sleep schedule with fixed times for sleeping and waking up. Avoid things which can hamper with your sleep like caffeinated drinks, heavy dinners, too much time in the company of a TV or your mobile phone.
One of the biggest challenges for people who are unable to sleep is turning off their thoughts. The trick lies in switching focus from disturbing thoughts to soothing feelings. Here are a few tips. Give them a try.
Relaxation by parts: As you lie in bed start by paying attention to your feet and gently relax them. Move your attention up the legs and repeat the process, mentally relaxing each body part. Scan and relax your whole body, part by part until you reach your brain. Finally send a feeling of relaxation to your brain and also your thoughts.
Reverse counting: Try counting in reverse in your head. Start with 100 and count down to 0. Remember the purpose of this exercise being to shift your thoughts from things that are disturbing you and keeping you awake. It is similar to counting sheep but less traumatic for the sheep.
Creative visualisation: For people with an active imagination, this technique can channelise their abilities into relaxing thoughts. Simply visualise yourself in a place where you feel absolutely calm. You could be at the top of a high snow covered mountain surrounded by a sea of ranges, lying by a gentle brook in a beautiful wood or floating on a cloud watching a million stars overhead. Let your imagination take you to a place where sleep falls on you like gentle mist.
Pl note: People suffering from chronic insomnia – which lasts more than a month should contact their Healthcare professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
HEALING FOREST is a journey to reconnect people with nature. Our aim is to help people and forests heal. As part of the idea we are collecting stories of healing from nature. If you have a personal story that you would like to share and inspire other people, please email it to us: notes(at)healingforest(dot)org
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