Reiki for Sleep: RHA Member Linda Dieffenbach takes an important look at how Reiki can help us sleep better, with some self-treatment methods we can all easily add into our sleep routine!
“…I often joke that I am a “professional nap facilitator” given the number of people that fall asleep on my table. Over the years in my practice, I have worked with hundreds of people dealing with all levels of life and physical challenges including insomnia and sleep challenges. After a Reiki session, almost universally, they report feeling deeply relaxed and much calmer…”
With all its benefits, perhaps you have been wondering – can Reiki help me sleep better, too? Insomnia and sleep problems are a pervasive challenge. According to the Cleveland Clinic between 33-50% of adults struggle with occasional sleep problems, whereas nearly 15% struggle with chronic insomnia.
Impact of Sleep Disruption
If you have ever dealt with a bad night’s sleep, you’ll know how much it can impact how you feel and your ability to function effectively. Studies show that even occasional sleepless nights can have adverse short and long-term effects on our health even in otherwise healthy people.
- GI disorders
- Increased inflammation and pain
- Poor cognitive functioning including lack of mental focus, poor memory, and poor coordination creating an increased risk for accidents and injury
- Decreased metabolism and weight issues
- Heightened stress response, increased anxiety, and emotional distress
- Heart problems including hypertension, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Certain cancers
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Causes of Sleep Disruption
Sleep disturbances have a number of potential causes, some we are able to manage while others may present a greater challenge. Potential causes of insomnia and sleep disturbances include:
- Stress – life transitions, challenges, worry, traumatic events (past or current)
- Inconsistent or disrupted schedule causing disruption in the circadian rhythms – e.g. work schedule, travel
- Poor sleep hygiene – inconsistent sleep schedule, TV or screen time prior to bedtime or while falling asleep, eating too much late in the evening, too much activity close to bedtime
- Stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine
- Low levels of physical activity
- Anxiety and depression
- Medication side effects
- Certain medical conditions – e.g. cancer, chronic pain, asthma, GERD, COPD
- Sleep disorders – e.g. restless leg syndrome, sleep apnoea, delayed sleep phase disorder
- The menstrual cycle, perimenopause, and menopause
- Aging – changes in internal clock, decreased activity levels, health changes, and side effects from increased medications
- Environmental causes – noise, light, uncomfortable bedroom or bed, heat, humidity, interruptions from housemates or pets
How Reiki Can Help with Insomnia and Disrupted Sleep
As you can see, there are many things that influence our ability to get a good night’s sleep. While there are external factors and medical conditions that can affect our sleep, there are a lot of factors that are within our control that we can work on to help us sleep better. For example, we can practice good sleep hygiene, such as turning off screens an hour or so before bedtime, or avoiding caffeine later in the day, investing in a good mattress and supportive bedding, keeping our bedroom at a comfortable temperature, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and decreasing noise and interruptions in the night – these steps will all contribute to a better night’s rest.
Reiki is a wonderful tool to help with sleep too! Essentially, Reiki activates our parasympathetic nervous system, putting our body into ‘Rest and Restore’ mode, which is why it is so beneficial to the body on so many levels, as it manages the general balance and function of our vital organs when we are not in a state of stress. Reiki brings deep relaxation to the body, mind, and energy system.
I often joke that I am a “professional nap facilitator” given the number of people that fall asleep on my table. Over the years in my practice, I have worked with hundreds of people dealing with all levels of life and physical challenges including insomnia and sleep challenges. After a Reiki session, almost universally, they report feeling deeply relaxed and much calmer. For those with sleep challenges, clients report better sleep following the session and for several days to a week after. With regular Reiki sessions and active changes in their nightly sleep routines, many have experienced significant improvement in their overall sleep patterns.
Using Reiki to Improve Your Sleep
When I first learned Reiki, I was a full-time college student and working full-time as a waitress and bartender. Naturally, my stress levels were high, and my sleep patterns were all over the place. I did not make a lot of time for self-care, however, every night, I would give myself a Reiki treatment while falling asleep. Most nights, I fell asleep early into or about mid-way through a full body treatment and would sleep through the night. I would wake up feeling more rested and energized than before I began this practice.
If you are attuned to Reiki, I recommend maintaining a routine of daily self-treatments and to use Reiki to help any time you struggle to sleep.
Here are some methods to try (lie on your back in a comfortable position for each):
1. Begin working your way through the self-treatment hand positions, holding them for 3-5 minutes each, until you fall asleep.
2. Place your hands over your Heart Chakra, sending Reiki to calm your nervous system. Hold for as long as you wish.
3. Place hands in first position – over the eyes – sending Reiki to quiet the mind and lower stress levels for 5 minutes, then place one hand over the Thymus Chakra and the other hand over the heart to regulate heart rate and soothe the nervous system.
4. Another soothing position to try: place one hand on the Solar Plexus and other on Sacral Chakra to restore depleted energy from the day. Then place your hands along each side of the pelvis (v-shape) to help ground your energy field.
5. Follow your intuitive guidance and body wisdom to send Reiki where it is most needed for you.
Whether attuned to Reiki or not, receiving Reiki regularly from a skilled practitioner will help bring your body into a state of greater balance and well-being which naturally helps support better sleep.
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By Linda Dieffenbach, BSW, RMT – Linda is a Holistic Practitioner, Coach and teacher with a background in Social Work. She has over 15 years of experience in mental and behavioral health combined with over 15 years experience in Holistic Health & Wellness. She has been practicing Reiki for nearly 20 years, and has trained hundreds of practitioners. She specializes in helping her clients overcome the physical, emotional, energetic, and mental effects of traumatic wounding.
Linda’s Website: www.WellnessInHarmony.com