Embodiment practices and their randomly far reaching impacts.
I'm traveling a lot this year, with 5 mini vacations already this year and a big trip to Australia I have slept in so many different beds I have lost count. This is an amazing opportunity and position of privilege afforded me, and am grateful for it. I am however also very intrigued by some people's ability to sleep anywhere, while other's struggle and stress and can't.
For me, sleeping on planes and in strange or new locations and beds has always been difficult. I'd struggle to feel peaceful, to not think of other things (especially while traveling) and to settle into rest. Mind going a million miles an hour. Essentially feeling unsafe. At least that's my most recent interpretation.
Have you ever pondered what it is about lying in bed that seems to set your mind racing? Like the day has suddenly gone quiet, you haven't had time to think so it all starts at once. Or maybe it's the dark, worrisome thoughts overtake you and you can't seem to stop them. When we coax children to sleep, without fail there is some sort of comfort there with them - a pacifier, a teddy bear, a blanket. I can't help but think maybe Linus was onto something.
On my most recent adventure to Australia, not only is it strange beds, but also strange hours. Forcing myself to sleep at 6am and then at 2pm or later in they day so I'm getting enough sleep to deal with working overnight for NYC hours. This was hard at first, but then I started taking my somatic safety skills into the bedroom and leveraging them for sleep. To me this looks like nestling into the bed, closing my eyes and essentially coaching myself back into a feeling of safety in the space the bed creates. And I've been able to sleep.
I still wonder what about "growing up" makes us abandon those comforters? Are we cultured to move away from them as adults we don't need them? Where do they fit into the land of "self soothing"? For me, someone who doesn't have serious insomnia, just the odd brush with discomfort and overthinking - establishing a sensation of safety has made this trip (and hopefully future ones) a lot more comfortable.
Of course establishing a sense of safety won't be the same for everyone. Some of us will use mindfulness or other forms of meditation. Maybe you still have hug teddy bear for when your significant other goes away. Maybe it's 2 hours of Call of Duty before you can get some shut eye. If you don't know what it is, maybe finding it could help you gain some more restful rest in the future.
If you're interested in learning more about developing a sense of somatic safety in the frame of Feminine Embodiment, feel free to reach out!
For many, lack of sleep is a serious issue. I definitely recommend doing whatever works for you and your unique situation. This is merely the musings from an Embodiment perspective and the point of view of someone struggling to sleep in new places, new times and new beds.