You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep, because reality is finally better than your dreams. Many have experienced this at one time or another. It is a good feeling to be in love. But nowadays, people are experiencing sleeplessness or insomnia for the apparent reason that they love their work; when in reality it is because of overwork and a lack of mindful living. And this reality is definitely not better than your dream.

An example of the irony inherent in the present start-up culture is that one may go to bed late, day after day, cut back on sleep, and work late to create a mindfulness or healthy living app!

Over time, poor sleeping habits, overwork, work pressures, deadlines, stress, anxiety, depression, lack of physical exercise or chronic illness can lead to insomnia. Humans are the only mammals who willingly delay sleep. We humans have been neglecting the importance of sleep, and an important part of mindful living is to give sleep its rightful place in our daily lives.

I went through a similar ordeal last winter. I had to stay alone for the first time in my life for a fairly long period of five months when my husband travelled abroad. In the beginning, it was something I got excited about, thinking I had got the space to declutter my mind and my house to attract abundance. It was good in the beginning. But after a couple of months, I would find myself with nothing to do as the evenings turned to night. All my plans to read my favourite books, meditate, travel, do a lot of shopping, and most importantly, to increase my ‘side-hustle’ (passion project) without any distraction, went for a toss. I was not able to fall asleep till almost 3am and sometimes almost till day-break, because my mind was overwhelmed with information. I realised that this couldn’t go on for too long. I had to do something about it.

Self-care and nurture was on top of my list. I identified the biggest distraction was my mobile phone and this awareness got my schedule on track. I started sleeping at 11pm. My phone was switched off and kept in another room to avoid the temptation of checking it once I was in bed.

I used lavender essential oils to enhance my sleep quality and took care that there was no light but sufficient air in my bedroom. During the day, I started being more conscious about going for a walk regularly, eating at proper intervals, and also about taking enough breaks from my laptop during the day. I started a few rituals like journaling and meditation and did them mindfully, which increased my awareness of maintaining an active lifestyle. Reading at night was the best way to fall asleep and get a peaceful 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

These little changes brought my sleep pattern back into place, and I am happy I made the effort to do so. Sleep rejuvenates our body and mind and is a great cleanser of toxins. I started living mindfully, enjoying my new lifestyle, increasing my side-hustle during the day and sleeping like a baby at night.