The Dawn Patrol

The older I get, the more I see that what I put into myself – the quality of my food, drink, exercise, sleep and meditation – the better the quality I can put back out into my surroundings.

I heard an interesting tip this week on improving the quality of sleep, which is something I’ve always struggled with, even before having kids. Apparently, if you spend a few minutes in the light of dawn, it does wonders for your sleep pattern, helping you to achieve uninterrupted sleep at night and wake up fresh in the morning.

I love this idea. Since becoming a mother I’ve had a strong desire to be able to wake up before my kids so as to have ten minutes to myself before they cheerfully consume my morning. I feel like it would be a really positive start to the day if I could manage it, which I never do due to my own poor quality of sleep and their unbelievable early and energetic starts.

Instead, they wake me up, and I get dragged unconsciously into the day, which is not ideal.

So I thought I’d try this for a week or so to see if it worked. On the first morning, I forced myself out of bed at 5.45 after a rushed alarm. Thankfully, nobody else was stirring yet, which is rare at this time in our house. I crept downstairs past my ever-vigilant children and into some warm clothes. I grabbed my meditation cushion and went out into the morning air where I sat contentedly in the arms of the dawn for ten minutes or so, listening to the birds, watching the sun rise and feeling the damp breeze on my face before returning to my waking household.

Incredibly, on days 2 and 3, I have woken up naturally before my alarm, both times at around 5.40, raring to go.

It’s possible that this is just the first pangs of a new and exciting routine that will soon wear off, and I have to admit the current clear skies are an encouraging incentive, but I’m hopeful that there is something more to it than this. Perhaps a mysterious energy from the rays of the rising sun are altering my body clock and correcting years of strained sleep? Let’s hope so…

Give it a go. If your lifestyle allows its, try spending around ten minutes outside in the hour after dawn and see if it affects your sleep.

Please feel free to share your results with me. I’d love to know if this works for anyone else, or if you have any other useful sleep tips for struggling sleepers.

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