I chose to splurge on a little getaway for myself. Three nights at a fancy eco-retreat for me to unwind and relax. What ended up happening was a Three Day Nap!! I literally slept the entire retreat. I hardly ate. And when I left the resort one of the attendants actually said, "You slept the entire time!"
I could have been mad at myself for wasting $1000 on sleep. However, that Thousand Dollar Nap was imperative to reset my nervous system. My friends have now coined this term and have taken their own selves on their version of a $1000 Nap Getaway. Why?
Our society has conditioned us to operate faster than our natural physiology and nervous system. We are organic beings, made from nature, and operate in accordance with nature's rhythms. We naturally do this with the seasons. Spring, we are exuberant and ready to be active and get things done. Summer, we just want to play and connect. Fall, we want to clean up, reflect, and get ready for the Winter. When Winter comes, the first part is full of parties, holidays, presents, and a busy schedule. The second part of winter is where I find, most people struggle. That's because our bodies want to go into a restful dormancy and our modern world tells us we aren't allowed to do that.
Over time, our nervous systems get frayed. Our detox pathways get gunked up without proper rest. We lose our calm center, operating like a revved engine in the wrong gear. It makes us feel not only tired, but confused, indecisive, anxious, pensive, restless, frustrated, and somehow wrong that what our body is asking is not what we are "supposed" to be doing.
Winter is Our Chance To Bring Our Nervous System Back Into Balance
How do we know that our Nervous System is out of balance?
Here are a few guides to help you assess whether you need a Thousand Dollar Nap:
You notice that you constantly feel you are behind the clock in a rush.
You feel guilt for letting people down, and for not being able to make all of it happen.
Your body shouts at you during the day with different symptoms that you are aware you are ignoring.
You dread going to sleep because you didn't figure out your life or have gotten it all done and tomorrow means more to do.
You dread waking up because you feel this deep emptiness in your gas tank and just wish you could have a sleeping marathon.
You push these feelings away because you've prioritized your duties, obligations, and goals as more important than what your body wants or needs.
You need coffee and lots of it!
You find yourself shaking, short of breath, and feeling exhausted by 3 pm.
You don't want to socialize and you find it exhausting to engage with people.
You are letting a lot of things that once mattered to you fall to the wayside seemingly spinning your wheels.
Your head feels cloudy and decisions feel hard.
If you feel you resonated with any of the above-mentioned then it may be time to create the opportunity to SLEEP.
Sleep Resets the Body's Hormones, Metabolism, Nervous System, and Psyche
Children are encouraged to get as much sleep as possible growing up because in the sleeping hours is when the Growth Hormone is activated. The same occurs for adults when they have chronic sleep deprivation or bad quality of sleep.
Sleep also allows our subconscious mind to process emotions, intuitive nudges, and our soul's desires. Without the opportunity to "shut down" our internal computer system, we lose the ability to download and upload information that is necessary to feel centered and calm within our Spirits.
East Asian Medicine discusses the importance of sleep from the vantage point of our organs being able to do their job. The hours of sleep before midnight are more important than any other time because that is when the organs finish processing our food. The longer we have to process gives us more time for the psyche to digest what it has taken in during the day as well. If we go to bed late, then we miss out on our soul having the opportunity to catch up.
If our Soul has unprocessed emotions that haven't worked through in our dreams, it gets stuck in our Nervous System. Imagine the energy of unresolved fights, heartbreaks, disappointments, fears, and guilt all floating around in your cerebrospinal fluid waiting to be processed by the brain. If we don't give ourselves time to process through our sleep, we're creating a massive backup in our psyche. No wonder we'll feel like our system is in overload when we don't have good sleep.
Without proper sleep, our Nervous Systems cannot recalibrate. Our hormones cannot level out our physiology. And our Soul cannot sift through emotions, dreams, and desires.
A Deep Sleep Will Help to Recalibrate You Back to Your Center
There is a reason everything else on this planet goes into a wintery pause. We are naturally guided by the Earth as to how to operate depending on where our planet is positioned in accordance with the sun. We are most certainly not separate from this Earth, so why would we not listen to her guidance to maintain proper balance?
The consumeristic holidays that force us to push during the Winter Season have only been around for a couple of hundred years. We operated much differently before our now modern lifestyle. Before electricity, cars, computers, and cell phones. We didn't immediately stimulate our nervous system with technology. Perhaps the simple argument is that we are moving farther away from our natural state of being than we ever have before as humanity.
Listening to Our Body Must Take Priority Over the World's Demands
Okay, so you don't have to spend $1000 to get caught up on your sleep. The point, however, is that you are worthy of giving yourself over to what needs to happen for your body to reset and refill its cup. I hope that you take the time necessary to deeply rest.
And if breaking the bank requires you to do so, perhaps have a look at it this way. That $1000 I spent to sleep for three days could have healed a major imbalance in my body that could have cost me much more down the line. My own lesson to pause has come with some serious consequences. I've learned it is worth it to spend the money now, rather than wait for the fallout later.
We are taught that it is okay to invest our money into things outside of ourselves. We will spend money to travel, to make our skin and hair look good, on fashion, and latest gadget, but what about our internal world? The deep recesses of our psyche need an investment of our time, energy, and maybe even money.
The concept to spend money just to sleep may sound demented. But let me ask you, has any part of your body craved this invitation upon reading this blog? Have you craved a full and complete surrender to do not a thing? Have you needed someone to give you permission to stop fully and let yourself sink into a deep pause?
I wish you a deep rest. Let yourself sink. Sleep. Stop. Allow your body to recalibrate without having to make any decisions. The energy for your movement, change, growth, and decisions will naturally come. Until then, the easiest way for you to get there and discover what is lying deep inside waiting to sprout is through sleep, reset, and being still.
Sahara is an East Asian Medicine Practitoner of the Five Elements and an Intuitive Healer. Serving
as an acupuncturist, medical concierge, shamanic healer, and spiritual counselor for over twenty years. She offers online and in-person sessions as well as an online virtual retreat experience. As a healer, teacher, author, and artist Sahara's passionate about recalibrating ourselves back to our authentic nature.