Sleep On It

The rewards of deep rest can be enhanced with finely-tuned meditation.
photograph by Sumner Mahaffey

by Donna D’Cruz

Explorations in meditation have brought me to the power of sleep. Getting great, balanced deep sleep improves blood pressure, the brain, skin, immune system, growth hormone production, creativity, digestion, memory, mood, concentration, productivity, relationships, athletic performance and happiness. Better sleep can help slow the aging process and reduce stress, appetite, inflammation and pain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression.”

We are increasingly time-starved, device-dependent, overworked, overmedicated, overstimulated and sleep-deprived. We are currently in a world sleep crisis. In the U.S., 30 percent of the population has sleep issues. One in three of us has sought professional attention, and an unknown number are self-medicating and shamed by our struggles with sleep.

Everyone tells me they want to meditate, but most are too busy to commit to a regular meditation practice. Each individual, however, has a regular sleep practice. Here’s how to make it better: Ritualize your sleep using the basic rules needed to balance your circadian rhythm—the body’s internal clock.

• Create a sacred sanctuary in your bedroom; a consistent bedtime, in a quiet, dark, relaxing space with comfortable temperature.

• No screens at least 30 minutes before your sleep time.

• No alcohol at least 3 hours prior to sleep.

• No caffeine after lunch.

• Listen to the “Sleep Beditations” playlist while you sleep.

Donna D’Cruz

Created with ancient wisdom, modern techniques and powerful healing frequencies, the Sleep Beditations list combines sleep and meditation, and is designed to be played all night. It has been programmed to help you get to sleep faster, stay asleep, and access the deepest states of rest beyond the REM cycle.

On my journey into consciousness and music, it has been my joy to collaborate with Australian aboriginals, spirit-walkers, rishis, shamans and dog-whisperers. As a music lover, record label owner, DJ/artist and consciousness activist, I share “DIP INTO BLISS” meditations globally.

The “Sleep Beditations” are free and easy to use (donnadcruz.com/sleepbeditation). I invite you to take the 21 Night challenge: commit to 21 consecutive evenings of making your sleep a priority, and watch what changes in your life. Sleep well.

“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. The next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” —Mahatma Gandi