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Perchance to Dream

Well, this is it, the run-up to that time of year again. So much to do and so few hours of daylight to do it in. It’s full of positives – gatherings, experiences, adventures – but it can be a massive drain and not just on the finances.

My relationship with sleep has always been complicated and, between the full moon, the fireworks and the frenzy of overthinking I struggle to manage my snooze levels have been seriously depleted of late, spurred to a dubious low of around only four hours last night what with one thing and another. This is heightened by the fact that, even when I do sleep, I dream very intensely so neither quality or quantity are achieved. Of course, the more wound up I get about how I need my sleep (physical, mental and emotional resilience all suffer when overtired) the harder it is to achieve either!

The good news is that I do, from previous experience, know how to turn it around. When the clocks went back I posted about using ‘The Magic Hour’ – reclaiming a solid chunk of time to really understand and prioritise your needs and choose to do something about them. This is something that should really be done on a regular basis, not just once a year when time mystically reappears! The other thing is journalling – pouring out everything that’s uppermost in my mind before I try to get some rest, without editing organising or rationalising (although it’s often a good exercise to do that at a later stage) as well as recording everything that’s interrupting my rest whether through dreams or wakefulness, acknowledging the parts my conscious, busy brain might not be picking up on and working through any unresolved deliberations my unconscious (or other relevant force) is screaming at me to deal with whenever it gets a chance.

Finally, for me a escaping into a good novel is a great way to distract myself productively while letting my mind work through whatever it has to in the background, but for some people and in some circumstances I know this can be counter-productive (and for me can often lead to even more intense, albeit varied, dreaming – sometimes it takes a different way of looking at things to nudge something into perspective!)

The phenomenon of dreaming is an endlessly fascinating one in terms of scientific, mental and even magical understanding (check out Nimue Brown’s Pagan Dreaming) and while, like any other area, I’m cautious over encouraging anyone to get too fixated on their nocturnal cogitations a little bit of consideration can be a great way of checking in with yourself and, perhaps more importantly during the season of busyness and bugs, promoting better rest and resilience!

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