By Seth Shezi
Like many other night dwellers who have battled an irregular circadian rhythm for most of their adult lives, I, too, had accepted I was simply a night owl—one of those nocturnal beings that are wildly more productive in the evening. This became my unflagging narrative for years when, in reality, I was denying the fact that I simply grappled with falling asleep at night.
I realized it needn’t get to the point of chronic insomnia before I was alarmed about my situation—either from broken or shallow sleep or from lying wide awake at night—these symptoms pointed toward a lack of internal flow.
Gradually, I started adopting changes into my life, none of which were necessarily meant to correct my sleep patterns. Rather, these changes were birthed from a newly-found fascination with holistic and general wellness practices meant to lasso my sanity in place during the first lockdown of the pandemic.
I began practicing meditation over the winter months in my apartment. y The golden twilight that bathed the world in the amber rays of the fading sun was entrancing. Sometimes I closed my eyes and continued to meditate well after the sun had set. When my eyes finally opened, I found my whole apartment awash with a warm hazy glow—not unlike the sepia nightlight from my iPhone after 10 p.m.
I fell in love with both this feeling and the hue of light created by the sun's departure. To replicate the inviting warmth and cozy glow, I started using only candles and Himalayan salt lamps. Even to this day, I light candles every night because it’s the one thing that retains the natural glow of twilight. The meditation gave me stillness; the candle-lit space provided a comforting cocoon.
All of my senses were at ease. The combination of incense, the Jo Malone myrrh, and candle wafted together in a transportive heady aroma. The calming space left me wanting nothing—except perhaps Rhye or Giveon playing quietly in the background.
The more I created this space for myself to wind down, the drowsier I began to feel. This resulted in me relishing the idea of getting ready for bed and sleeping better. I woke up more energetic and vibrant in the mornings, purely because I afforded my body a necessary calming environment after a full day's worth of chaos.
My transformation from a night owl to an early bird happened naturally, holistically, and entirely by chance. In our society, being busy has become the new norm, and it’s important for us to spend some time unwinding from our overstimulating days packed full of meetings, zoom calls, social lives, and exercise. Taking self-care time in the evenings allows one to better set themselves up for the following day and feel refreshed when waking up.
So, start your own evening ritual. Break free of the sleepless nights. Put your phone away for a second and simply be in the moment. Breathe. Be present. Don’t go to bed with a mind full of thoughts. Instead, focus on the present—consciously let go to allow yourself rest. Start the next day on the right foot. Do this for your body and soul, and you’ll master your circadian rhythm without even having to think about it.
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