How To Get a Blissful Nights Sleep With an Easy Mental Exercise

“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 try’s to process all the days 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 bottle neck. The mental item’s that where 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 minds 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 our minds energy.

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 the 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 girl friend 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 minds 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 minds attention was lost in its imagination.

Everyday your actions represent your whole past. If you start rewinding your day everyday (do it for one month) and can see clearly that you where 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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35 Responses to How To Get a Blissful Nights Sleep With an Easy Mental Exercise

  1. Michelle W says:

    Wow so many profound truths in this post. Thanks so much for taking complex ideas and presenting them in a way we can try and see for ourselves. The exercise seems so easy but I can feel how this can really provide invaluable insight into ones life.

  2. Matt says:

    This is so true and a great exercise to do for better sleep. Years ago I realized that I could direct my own dreams by thinking of something before going to sleep. I’ve used this to create dreams about my plans for the future. The more you think about the things you want the more likely they are to come true.

    I really like this rewind technique. I’ve found that at times I get caught on one or two moments during the day that were troubling. Sometimes I can get by them in my mind and other times I can’t. But overall this is a solid technique that I have found useful.
    Matt´s last blog post ..Find the Joy in Your Life

    • Ivan says:

      Did you see the movie inception matt?…I love lucid dreaming…I am thinking of buying a nova dreaming mask..it’s an eye mask that detects when you are in rem sleep..then flashes red lights in your eyes to use as a trigger to let you know you are dreaming…I am already pretty good at lucid dreaming but with that mask i might have nightly lucid dreams…have you ever heard of it?
      Ivan´s last blog post ..Top 10 Super Brain Food

      • Matt says:

        Hey Ivan! I saw Inception last night. Incredible movie. I was entranced in the whole dream-within-a-dream thing and in parts of the movie had no idea whether it was real or yet another dream. So I wonder whether one can seed their own dreams to overcome a fear that is holding them back? Self-hypnosis I guess with dreams.
        Matt´s last blog post ..Wrestling with Minimalism

  3. Matt says:

    I have not seen that movie yet but it’s top on my netflix list. This nova dreaming mask sounds interesting. I had not heard of it before. I love seeding my dreams before sleep. I’ve been using your technique nightly now.
    Matt´s last blog post ..Find the Joy in Your Life

  4. Alex Work says:

    Awesome post! I really liked the idea of rewinding the events of the day in your brain. Will give that a shot tonight :)

    Alex
    YourGoalBook.com

  5. thaikarl says:

    wonderful exercise. simple, direct. i thought, this one i can do. i find that i can never get through rewinding a whole day. somewhere in there i fall asleep. of course, incidents along the rewind way lead me off the path and i find my thoughts wandering off on some tangent to the event. so i bring it back and start rewinding again…. then, it’s morning. i also find this practice is very helpful when i start fretting over something as i’m going to sleep. a worry over money or work will creep in and take off and the tension grows.. i’ll bring my thoughts back to the last rewind point and keep going. rewinding is such a gentle task it just pushes “worry” off the table. thanks ivan!

    and i note how many nights i ‘forget’ to do this! i think i’ll put a sign on the ceiling over my bed that says “REWIND”
    thaikarl´s last blog post ..110103 Thaikarl – Nappy Hoo Dear- the fruit stand

  6. Andrew says:

    I remember reading some books by Rudolf Steiner and he recommended performing this exact exercise before sleep every night.

  7. Cam says:

    What an interesting and enlightening post. Especially for me, since I feel that I have been getting a lot of REM sleep rather than going through the whole sleep cycle. I will try your technique of going backwards through my day before sleeping and trying to ‘address any unfinished business’ so that I don’t do so while sleeping.
    Oh, and I read the book of Ecclesiastes the other day at my Mom’s request. I noticed a verse that started out by saying ‘For a dream cometh through a multitude of business’ and now I see you here talking about dreams and ‘unfinished business’. Very interesting…will be sure to think on these things and hopefully in waking life;-)
    Thanks for a great read.

  8. Yuvaraj says:

    Hey Ivan! It’s a great article yah. Keep it up and come with more articles…..Yuvaraj

  9. Thomas says:

    Smart idea. Gave it a try and it worked!

  10. shahid says:

    I am also shiftworking one month night and one month afternoon and morning I cano estable my sleeping time when I sleep I am very deficulty to sleep and two and three time wake up try to sleep is very deficult after wake up and go work i have headach and tired , I also exercise but it isnot advantage please give me powerfull advise which i fallow and salve my problam thank you

    • Juliana Anna says:

      Nice!!! I already practice this but now that I am reading about it my awareness has been increased…Will be doing more of this because it works:) Thanks and I will share…

    • Linda says:

      if you do exercise at night, try to do it approximately 4 hours or so before bedtime because it may keep you awake..also, you can try melatonin [N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine]..our bodies produce melatonin..you will get a deep restful sleep :) peace

  11. Harrison says:

    This sounds like an excellent technique! I will try it tonight, and post here again after a month, if I remember of course ;)

  12. Aovi says:

    Good article. Wil i be able to enter rem sleep with this technique?

  13. Christian says:

    Nice post. Thank you. I have a comment meant to be constructive. The brown background with black font is difficult to read. Maybe it’s just me. Best, Christian

  14. Chris L says:

    This sounds amazing and actually makes sense. I still hold onto many memories from the past, it feels like I grip too tightly. Will try this technique tonight.

    • Linda says:

      me too…even the ‘negative’ ones sometimes..the art of ‘letting go’ can at times be a great challenge…but i never give up..where there’s a will there’s a way, i believe..best wishes. peace :)

  15. Monica Lillis says:

    Hi Ivan. This is off the point but wondered if you have ever read “The power of your subconscious mind” by Joseph Murphy? and if so what you think of it. I love Eckhart Tolle and am trying to live more in the moment and live mindfully.I find the more i try to quiet my mind sometimes it doesn’t work. I can have periods of quietness. Would appreciate your comments. Thanks.

    • Linda says:

      chillo :) i know you didn’t ask me either but i just wanted to suggest the chatterbot series may (or may not?)help quiet your thoughts..”InnerPeace Free Self-Help Chatterbot Collection
      Five free self-help chatterbots for more inner peace in your life” :) peace

  16. zAKI says:

    i WILL tRY iT tONIGHT IF IT wORKED I WILL sHARE YOU, MAYBE TO IVAN ONLY SOME THING GREAT LIKE THIS, BUT FIRST LET ME TRY WHETHER THIS WORTH IT OR NOT, ANY WAY THANKS

  17. Harry says:

    I’m a 22 year old student. Generlly i don’t have to problem in sleep . But one night before exam i can not sleep. My mind run everywhere and think so much. I try to relax my mind, medition, drinking milk, listening song,walking around and physical exercies but nothing is take me to fall in sleep??? What to do??

  18. Sareh says:

    Hi, Ivan, Thanks it’s really true. I’ve read your post. I couldn’t sleep that night. It was 1 am. And I hadn’t good and enough sleep the nights before, and I have to do a lot of home works and chores the day and week after it. I tried this tech for around 1 hour, and went to bed. After a few minutes I fell sleep…. I’m gonna do it again and tell you about it.

  19. Linda says:

    chillo ivan :D i landed on your page yesterday sometime whilst looking around at other things…read some of your other posts then this..was having a particularly ‘bad energy’ day and tried this..it finally relaxed me some…i will continue trying this and thank you very much for your time and sharing. peace

  20. Linda says:

    p.s. i’ve also ‘stumbled’ your site ;)

  21. bue says:

    hi, thank you so much for the article.
    i’m gonna practice again.
    used to practice before and it’s work for me but recently i’m not sure why I have sleeping problem again.

    what I usually do is instead of thinking I write into a book.
    do you think it can help also by writing?
    or must be thinking only?

    thank you in advance for your answer.

  22. Jithan says:

    Hello Ivan. Very good post. I tried to do this, but not able to complete till the beginning of the day. Need some help in whether it has to be done exactly the reverse or starting from the last 10 mins, then for ex: 9-10, 8-9. Its kind of losing track or missing on something which eventually creeps up and still around the last 1 hour. Please advice

  23. Anonymous says:

    I feel very tired on nights that I dreamt too much.This sounds like a great technique to sort that problem

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