I am sure it has happened to you.
You wake up in the middle of the night and you just..cant…go..back..to..sleep.
The more you lie in bed worrying about how tired you will be tomorrow, the less likely you will be to drop off back to sleep.
All those things that people advise never worked for me…counting sheep and drinking some milk or chamomile tea.
I would eventually get up, do the laundry, prepare for the next day and wait for the tiredness to descend on me again. Sometimes it did. Sometimes it did not.
Luck of the draw!
One such night many years ago I pulled out my Tarot deck and started playing. The question on my mind was why the hell could I not go back to sleep? I didn’t feel stressed. There was nothing the next day that would warrant a 3 am wake up. That night I designed a spread to answer my question and I want to share it with you today.
SINEAD’S TAROT SPREAD TO CURE INSOMNIA
Go find your trusted Tarot deck.
Shuffle your cards and when ready put them down in one pile, face downwards.
Spread them out, in a fan shape.
Take some deep breaths and then pull 5 cards and lay them out as shown in the picture below.
The Top Three Cards Represent: Why am I awake? (3)
The Bottom Two Cards Represent: What do I need to do to go back to sleep? (2)
Turn the cards over. Do they make sense? They often will.
The two bottom cards are explanations and will guide you to the solution to help you go back to sleep.
For example if you get Swords cards it may be learning how to calm your monkey mind by doing some meditation. Cups cards may indicate that you need to feel your emotions and acknowledge them. Pentacles may be doing something practical like cleaning the oven (yes I have done this at 430 am) or a few Chi Kung exercises. Wands might be using your creativity to draw a picture or do some craft until you feel tired again.
Nearly always when using this spread for myself and others I find that the top 3 cards have lots of swords cards in them.
Yep – most people wake up because they need to pee or have a drink of water and then start thinking about what they need to do tomorrow, next week, next month. Disaster! Anxiety creeps in and bye bye sleep. If that’s the case with you, then you may want to think about some techniques to calm the mind.
Here are my top five suggestions to calm the mind…
1) Bach Rescue Remedy: Put 2 drops on the tongue and do some deep breathing – often this is enough to get you back to sleep. You can also put two drops in a glass of water and sip it as often as you need. You can buy Rescue Remedy at most health food stores and pharmacies.
2) Lists: Sometimes getting a piece of paper and writing down everything you need to do is enough to clear your mind. Sometimes this purging is enough to go back to sleep.
3) Reading: Pick up a book / iPad / tablet and read. Make sure the book is not a suspense, thriller, horror or anything too juicy. You want to read and be a little bit bored, right? Great Expectations, encyclopedia or director. Use a dim light as too much light will stimulate you and keep you awake. I read loads of books through my SCRIBD app on my iPad. I highly recommend it and cannot live without it now. If you click on the link below and you like the sound of SCRIBD, you can get two months free!
4) Meditation: There are loads of meditations you can listen to or download for free from the internet. Find one that specifically focuses on calming the mind and getting you back to sleep, like this one:
5) Mandala: Coloring is the new craze. Get yourself some nice colored pencils and have them ready for such a night. Gentle music and coloring in a mandala will keep you relaxed and if you can’t sleep at least you are doing something calming and creative.
If the two bottom cards speak more about physical body issues then you might want to go see your doctor or a natural medicine therapist. Insomnia can be the symptom of many illnesses and disorders.
Speaking of natural medicine check out Claire from Minnesota and her blog EveryDayRoots. I love her articles on natural medicine. This one below has great tips on going back to sleep, so you can be sipping your valerian root tea while throwing the cards and before you know it…you will be asleep.