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Sleep is a basic human need – it affects our mood, our memory, and our overall health. Yet, it is often one of the first things we are willing to sacrifice in our busy lives. How many times have you heard someone say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But beyond the obvious physical effects of rest, there are even deeper, more important spiritual purposes.
The power of sleep is that it not only recharges us but also allows our souls to elevate to great heights. During sleep, our souls leave our bodies and ascend to the upper world, where they are given all of the wisdom, assistance, and blessings that we need for the next day. Meanwhile, our bodies are given the time for healing and renewal. In order to fully receive the gifts of sleep, however, there are a few things we need to do.
Here are 3 spiritual tips to reap the full benefits of sleep:
1. Spend your day sharing with others. When we sleep, it is said that our souls give testimony to the Creator. This assessment of our souls determines the amount of blessings we receive for the following day. The more caring, sharing, and selfless we were in our day, the more we are gifted with the wisdom and blessings we need for tomorrow. On the other hand, if we acted selfishly or hurt others, there is no way that our souls can ascend and receive these gifts.
If you want to have great sleep (and a great tomorrow), spend the day caring for others and sharing from a place of selflessness.
2. Say a prayer before bedtime. When the soul exits the body to ascend to the upper world, there are many forces it can get lost in. And if the soul does not ascend peacefully, it doesn’t get the regeneration it needs. The soul may enter places that do not recharge us, leading us to have nightmares or wake up even more exhausted than before we went to bed. That is why we can sleep for six or eight hours and wake up not feeling rested.
Through prayer and meditation, we can ask the Creator to aid our soul in ascending. There is one verse that the Zohar uses as a foundational meditation for entering into spiritual sleep: B’yad’cha afkid ruchi – just three words that mean, “In your hands, I put my soul.”
The consciousness we have before going to bed is essential to getting a restful, spiritual sleep. As you go to sleep, ask that your soul find its resting place among the Creator and receive its recharge.
3. Make your first thought of the day one of appreciation. How you exit sleep is just as important as how you enter it. The first moments upon waking are extremely important because they influence the entire day. Everything flows from the beginning. We’ve all heard the expression “waking up on the wrong side of the bed.” If you wake up angrily, that sets a negative tone for the day. On the other hand, if your first thought after opening your eyes is to have appreciation, that shines a positive light on the rest of the day.
Give thanks to the Creator for your soul coming back to your body. Praying to the Creator before bed and then awakening appreciation in the morning provides a powerful bookend to sleep that will allow you to fully utilize the gifts of rest.
Sleep is not just a physical demand of the body – it is a demand of the soul. The reason we feel the physical effects from lack of sleep, like exhaustion, stems from our spiritual need for rest. Through acts of sharing, thoughts of appreciation, and meditation before and after sleep, we can create a daily routine that leads to better sleep. When you have the proper spiritual sleep, you will receive wisdom and support and be able to manifest endless blessings throughout the day.