Sleep?! Sleep! That illusive thing that is more natural to us then even breathing. That essential recharging activity we never get enough of. How do you do that? We are born asleep..
We spend the majority of our first year of life sleeping...
.....So why does it seem like the hardest thing to catch some Zzzz's for some people??? It's baffling!
Everybody seems to be sleeping. It's as if it were the worlds most addictive drug to some. To those that only seem to lose what sleep they get, it seems like a never ending jar of nothingness. Those people, your friends, your family, they all seem so happy, so relaxed so functional. How do you get some of that?
Essentially, "sleeping" is when you shut down your brain waves for a few hours. It'd be the same idea if a robot were to plug into the wall and turn itself "off". The only difference is that we as people never turn off, per say, but we can turn way way down. Sleep, or at least restful sleep, enters the Delta brain waves, which just so happen to be the same ones we experience when we die.
We die a little death every time we go to sleep, only encouraging the theories of reincarnation. This sort of death is definitely not the negative type your thinking of right now. It's a good death. Death simply means "change", or "Start over", if you look it up. It is a part of our essentially daily cycles and cannot be ignored.
Your body needs those delta waves to truly recharge your batteries. The only way to get those brain waves other than just going to bed, is through deep meditation. Which I highly recommend as a viable option to sleep if you can't seem to get any.
Without sleep (or at least regular meditation), your body will start to fall apart, to put it shortly. If prolonged awakeness continue, you'll experience delirium, hallucinations, heart palpations and then death. The only difference between that death and the little death of going to sleep every night, is that you don't get to come back to your current vessel/body when you wake up in the morning.
I'm pretty sure your not done with your vessel yet, are ya?
Didn't think so. :)
HOW TO FALL ASLEEP
#1. DID YOU USE THE POTTY?
Just the same as you would before going on a long road trip or drive, you'll want to make sure all of your bathroom business is fully taken care of before you go to bed. If you're a regular to dreamless land and elusive sleep, then it's likely you'll have to go a few times before you achieve your delta state.
Make sure to use the potty before you sleep and try to only have a small glass of water to sip on while you sleep. No sodas or other junk, they only make you more thirsty and they ruin your teeth when you sleep. Reverse osmosis or at very least distilled water is the choice you want to make. Hexafluorosilicic acid in tab water can hinder your sleeping experience, so please avoid tap water unless you so happen to have a personal water well
Only use your night time water to sip on to avoid refilling your bladder and fueling the insomnia fire. The more you have to get up and go, the less restful sleep you're going to get. If you find yourself with a lack of mouth lubricant. Gently bit the tip of your tongue a few times, swish around the salvia and then go to sleep!
#2. ASSUME THE POSITION
Okay, if you find yourself sitting up right and in front of your computer or television, then you're not taking on the right position. Sleeping happens best when you lay down, preferably in a comfortable position. There is the occasion where some find it better to be stretched out in a nearly flat reclining chair, but generally, most sleeping takes place in a bed, on the floor, on the couch or sometimes in a tent. :)
Where ever you decide your going to try and sleep, you'll want to lay down. Do a superman stretch by placing your arms above your head and pushing out with your toes and hands. Stretch those muscles as far as they will go from your own force. If your on a bed, you can lay on your stomach, stick your toes on the end of the bed to hold you in place, grab the other side of the mattress with your hands and PULL! This is a great way to stretch out.
Once you've stretch, get yourself in a comfortable position, such as on your side or on your tummy. Then after you've gotten comfortable, you'll want to toss and turn a bit. Get into a more comfortable position. I call this "mattress exercise". It's almost tiring sometimes when you toss and turn in your bed a few times, changing positions, stretching and contracting muscles. Do it on purpose and it won't seem nearly as annoying or sleep inhibiting as it did before.
Once you're done tenderizing the mattress and pillows, place yourself on your back. Take one pillow and place it under your knee caps, with majority of the pillow under your calves. Then take the pillow that you are most comfortable sleeping on and place your head on it. Take the bottom corners of the pillow that are closest to your neck and pull them up over your shoulders so that the pillow kind of snuggles around your neck. This is helpful because it keeps your spine aligned and lets your shoulders relax. They should be directly on the mattress.
*Try to choose a pillow that is very comfortable, but not so thick that you are more than 3 or 4 inches from the bed. 2 to 3 inches is near perfect for your neck.
Put the blanket over you the way you like it, close your eyes and your mouth, then place your hands either over your chest with clasped hands, or at your sides with your palms touching your thighs.
Now you has assumed the position!
#3. TURN OF THE NOISE MAKER, THAT STRANGE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD THAT WONT SHUT UP.
In our minds we have a constant inner dialogue that seems to never stop. This little "me" voice can stop you from getting to sleep BIG TIME. Which is all the more reason to get it to shut up! The problem is that it is a very hard thing to shut off your inner dialogue completely. So the idea is to learn to tune it out.
You can do this by breathing deeply and while you do so, think: "Reeeeee.....laaaaxed..." or "IIiiiiiiin..." and "OOooouuuttt..." or you could try, "I am....." "Reeelaaaxed..". Then repeat while you breath. When you catch yourself getting caught up in your noise maker, don't beat yourself up, just go back to your mantra and your breathing. Some people find it helpful to hum. It doesn't have to be a particular octave, or even a song. Just simply going "Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" for the inhale and exhale helps you get that nutritional deep breathing you need and tunes out the inner monologue.
Some people find it helpful to have some soft music on to help them concentrate on something aside from the mind. While others find this just makes things worse. Try it if you dare, daren't if you don't. :)
The TV is a last ditch option to help ease the mind, just remember that the boob tube is designed to hypnotize you into continue watching it. Even with your eyes closed, it still says or sounds like one thing or another that makes you want to look at it. Not to mention, it takes away from restful Delta sleep when you're in the REM cycle. It's just not good for sleeping. Still though, even I have found myself using it before. I have found that in those instances, it works best to use the television timer. Turn the tuber on and then check it for 60 or 90 minutes from now. That way, after you fall asleep deep enough, the TV will kick off and leave you in delta bliss.
#4. GO FOR A WALK
If you've tossed, tumbled and turned. Done your mattress exercising, tried the TV, music, reading a book or a bunch of other things, you're next best option is to go for a brisk walk. This works especially well if it's cold outside.
Bundle up in something warm if it is, if it's pretty warm out in the evening you don't have to take on such girth, so plan accordingly. Wearing heavy clothing does tend to make you more tired sooner, so that is also something to keep in mind.
With your walk, you can go for as short as a 5 minute walk up and down the street once or twice. You can walk around the block once or twice, or even go for a quick 3 block jog or speed walk. If you have dog, they are perfect companion for such things.
While you walk, practice focusing your mind on just the walking. Take your mind away from trying to force yourself to be tired. Stop thinking about work, the kids or life in general. In fact, if you can manage, stop thinking all together. Think of this as an active meditation. Focus on your breathing.
In through the nose, smooth, easy and in so that it fills up your lower abdomen first. Make sure to stand up straight while you walk and don't slouch. Breath out through your mouth as if you were gently but adamantly blowing on a candle flame. Enough to make it dance, but not enough to blow it out. In between breaths, I want you to hold your breath for a count of three (1...2....3....release). As you continue on your walk, see if you can extend holding your breath between breaths for longer amounts... (1...2....3....4....(4x)) then (1...2...3...4...5....(4x)). If this is easy for you, continue to do so, without rushing your breaths. If you find it hard, go back to the count up to three and stay there. Focus on your breath and your posture while you walk.
You can think about the actual act and function of walking, but your brain is fully capable of running that motor ability on auto pilot for you, so you don't have to think about it if you don't want to. Focusing on your breath and posture should work just fine. Try to keep your breathing as extended as possible, even if your speed walking or running. If you decide to walk, try to keep your steps in tune with your breaths, give them same "rhythm".
Do this until you find yourself only thinking about breathing properly, posture and walking in rhythm with your breathing. It doesn't have to be "in time" with your breathing, so don't confuse that. You don't have to take an hour to walk 100 feet. =)
Once you've made it back to your abode, go inside and either take a quick hot shower or just go get back in bed and assume the position.
#5. COUNT (SHEEP OPTIONAL)
Remember the breathing exercise mentioned above for walking? Well guess what! That can also be used while your comfy and laying in your berth. Just go through the same part, minus the movement off your lower extremities. You can add a twist if you like.
You can count sheep as a famed way to fall asleep. What their little white tufty butts floating over a fence. Or maybe they get little wings and bounce off of each in the sky over their pin, lol, have fun, just keep it inviting.
You could also envision yourself walking, as you would if you were really doing it. This is where it is good to have actually done the walking exercise. You might not ever need to to again. The simple thought of walking so determinedly and specifically. getting all sweaty, cold and tired. The thoughts are enough to make a person tired. So much so that I'm about ready for bed already!
#6. CHAKRA BALANCING
Your chakras are your ethereal organs and are the most commonly neglected by most humans. This doesn't help anything if your suffering from sleeplessness. Take some time to balance and energize your chakra's everyday.Sleep?! Sleep! That illusive thing that is more natural to us then even breathing. That essential recharging activity we never get enough of. How do you do that?
We are born asleep
I can nearly guarantee you that by the time you get up to your crown chakra, all that negative energy that still possesses your body and hinders it from fully relaxing will be so far gone that you'll find it hard to finish your balancing of the last few chakras. Don't let yourself go without finishing it and you'll be sleeping like a lamb in no time.
#7. TEA TIME ANYONE?
AVOID drugs at all costs. You'll want to hover over to the herbal isle at your store and check out what they have to offer in the form of teas and infusions. Get something that smells comforting and is geared toward helping you sleep. Do not get anything that has caffeine in it, that's the last thing you need right now.
If teas help but don't quiet knock your lights out, find yourself some cannabis. Something with high CBD content, as that is the "mellow" "sleepy" strain that you'll want. I believe those are more often found in sativa indicas then in sativa sativas. The best way to get the CBD's to come out is to make a baked good that you can consume. Just make sure the baked treat is low on sugar and other not helpful substances. These can include: corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oils, glutton, artificial sweeteners, processed sugars and to many carbs. Choose something sleep and health friendly and you won't go wrong with your cannabis nightcap treat.
Chamomile, mint, cocoa, warm (hormone free) milk, thyme, ginger root and other herbal remedies are very useful as sleep aids and the majority of them have no side effects. How wonderful!
#8. GET INTIMATE
If you blush at this, you might want to think about doing it more often, pun intended!
Whether you're doing the mattress tumble rumble with a savory partner, or your playing hands solo with your memory real, it is beneficial to your mind and body to get to the big O before you go....to sleep.
Science and medicine has proven that after we hit that "wow" moment, our bodies release pleasing euphoric hormones. The "feel good" choose. This happy stuff can send your body into a state of deep relaxation and be most conducive to dreamland and restful slumber.