“When you have insomnia, you’re never really asleep, and you’re never really awake.”~Fight Club
How To Get Deep Sleep
Aww sleeeeeep, for me, nothing beats a good 8 hours of deep restful sleep, except for maybe a nice meditation session (conscious sleep). Deep sleep is blissful and its effects on the body and mind are tremendous. But in this day and age, deep sleep is truly a luxury.
Never in the history of humanity have we had so many people who suffer from insomnia and sleeping disorders.
Why Do We Suffer From a Lack of Sleep?
Think of your brain as a computer, one which you feed with inputs in the form of outside impressions (what your physical senses register), and inner impressions (thoughts, feelings). Since your mind works linearly just like a computer, it tries to process all the day’s inputs, and when it becomes overloaded passes a lot of that work to your subconscious mind.
The more attention (awareness) you give each impression without becoming identified to it, the better you’re able to processes it without leaving a trace in your system.
The problem is our attention is very poor, so many of the impressions we receive on a daily basis are processed only partially. Our minds continue to work on lingering thoughts well after we have first thought them. Someone comes and insults us and we keep replaying thoughts and images of anger hours after the incident even occurred.
Many of our thoughts are put in queue; this creates a kind of a mental bottleneck. The mental items that were suppressed throughout the day then become the content of our dreams.
Dreams are therefore the continuation of the mental activity that we had throughout the day. The content of our dreams is largely from all the thoughts we repressed or did not process fully; it is the mind’s unfinished business. Dreams are a way for the mind to finish its work.
The mind will not be calm and relaxed (silent) unless it processes all the data that it was fed. So it is essential that we learn to be mindful in our lives, to live totally, by giving each task at hand the purity of our attention. When we live mindfully we deal with things totally, so no need to think about it later.
When you tell someone, “ hey…let me think about it”, immediately this thought is thrown in your minds ever-growing to-do list. It becomes part of the silent undercurrent to our mental activity, very subtlety sapping the energy of our minds.
This is why many of us have a hard time keeping a clear train of thought and become distracted so easily. We don’t have sufficient energy to remain alert and attentive.
This end of day exercise that I am about to share is intended to help you clear and process all of your day’s activity, clearing any lingering thoughts from your system.
This will help you fall into deep rejuvenating sleep because your mind will be free from the compulsion to continue processing all of its unfinished work.
The second aspect is to help you become aware of your witnessing presence. Living from your witnessing presence means you act and see the world from the deepest part of your being.
A place where you can observe your thoughts without judging, just remaining aloof to your thought process. If you can remain alert yet passive, you will see that your thoughts won’t be carried into your sleep and manifest themselves as dreams.
As many of us very well know, having too much mental activity during sleep causes us to wake up tired even if we technically slept 7-8 hours. Your body was never really totally resting, it still continued to work.
Technique To Help You Sleep Better
At night, before going to bed in the theater of your mind, rewind your day just like a film strip. Start from where you are now then go back 10 minutes, then half an hour, then 1 hour, all the way until you make it to the morning when you woke up. Replay as much as you can, you will get better with practice.
Do this like you are watching a movie, but don’t judge the movie. As your replaying it make it as vivid as possible, try and intuit everything that surrounds each moment, but all from the perspective of an outsider. You’re on the outside looking in, you see and feel everything but you don’t get involved.
This will be hard if you had an intense situation, you will want to judge the scene. You may have had a fight with your girlfriend and will want to analyze and rationalize what happened, try your best to not do it.
Just by seeing the scene clearly you will gain insight into your experience. You may see how silly it was for you to react in a certain way. Seeing it is enough, move on. Just by observing something without labeling it as good or bad will change your relationship to it.
This exercise can lead you into deep restful sleep; because it helps you process and evaporate all the unprocessed thoughts, which become your nightly dreams. Your dreams are simply a continuation of your mind’s daily activity.
Increase Your Awareness To Go Back In Time
Going from morning to evening most do it without any awareness, going in reverse will begin to sharpen your awareness. You will see how much of our day is spent inattentively.
The more you practice this the better you will be able to recall your whole day down to the smallest details. You will be able to see how your brain recorded every single moment of your day, even if at the time your mind’s attention was lost in its imagination.
Every day your actions represent your whole past. If you start rewinding your day every day (do it for one month) and can see clearly that you were comfortable and deeply at ease with the day, you will see you can go back further in your life. You can then go back year by year and see it passively and detached, in the process, you will see that any of your past memories that are causing you conflict will begin to be healed.
Essentially what this exercise does is that it assists you in awakening to your witnessing presence. If you learn to become a witness to your life, many things will be revealed to you. Witnessing is the key of keys and the essence of all the great religious teachings. The more awareness you infuse into your life, the more you will actually live your life. Awareness is life.
If you have any personal insights you would like to add, please join the conversation below and leave your comments.
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