Sleeping On Time
It's needed, a good night's sleep. Performing tasks while tired can cause injuries, mental and medical problems, even death. Getting a full night's rest is crucial to maintaining a healthy work environment, home life, and even relationships. That's all good right? But what about we people who cannot fall asleep?
- Studies have shown that people with stressful work environments often show sleep deprivation.
- EMS, Fire, Police, and Military are among the highest amount of Sleep Deprivation in the US.
- People suffering from PTSD, Insomnia, and other disorders have hard times with falling asleep on time due to the amount of activity in their brains at bedtime.
Meditation has been a form of sleep inducing therapy for years. However some claim that it simply does not work. This is true in some cases. Meditation is not always a proven way to stop sleep deprivation. However, I have come up with a solid way of meditation that feeds the inner nerve to become relaxed which causes you to sleep faster and fuller. It allows people to become so relaxed that their usual 1 hour time to fall asleep reduces itself to merely 15-16 minutes.
- The average person not suffering from sleep deprivation falls asleep between 5-16 minutes upon laying their head to rest.
This technique will allow you to achieve that goal, and will also teach you the time in which you need to fall asleep in order to gain a full night's rest, and allows you to wake up without feeling groggy or sleepy.
'Find your center'
Find your happy place.
I remember years ago there was an iconic movie called Fight Club. It starred actors Brad Pitt, and Edward Norton. The movie displayed a man fighting insomnia coupled with his love for soap, and fist fighting. There is only one rule in fight club. You do not talk about fight club. Before I stop talking about fight club I am going to mention a scene in fight club. Edward Norton finds himself going to several support groups for mainly cancer and other illnesses. In one of the seminars he is undergoing meditation. “Find your center, enter your cave,” paraphrased but you can get the idea from that.
At the time of watching this movie, I felt very much like the main character of the story. I was suffering from insomnia caused by my job at the time. I was an EMT/Firefighter. I was often times finding myself waking up at 3 am only to go fish grandma out of the bathtub because she had fallen. Then I would arrive back at the station to find my bed cold from my absence. Falling asleep after having been woken up by the clamorous ringing of station tones is very difficult.
I began to do forms of meditation. After reading online mostly, I was able to find several meditation tips on how to fall asleep ‘fast and effectively’ or so they said.
Can’t fall asleep? No problem, follow these steps:
- Eat more carrots
- Sleep on your back
- Find your center
- Count your breaths
That last one is an interesting tip. ‘Count your breaths.’ The problem with counting your breaths is that you become self-aware that you are breathing, before long you are holding your breath at times. It doesn’t work. This is mainly because you subconsciously do not allow it to work. You focus on the fact that you are trying to fall asleep. Focusing on the problem doesn’t help the equation. In EMS, there is a reason we don’t tell patients we are counting their breaths. They will control their breathing subconsciously. We want true data, unaltered data.
Focusing on the Problem
We have identified our problem. We cannot fall asleep. It does absolutely no good to our problem by recognizing our problem again and again. We have active brains, some are more active than others. The trick is to eliminate the activity and enter a relaxing state.
At one time in your life, you have found yourself completely relaxed, and in a state of brain inactivity. We do not want to meditate on this fact. We want to trick our brains into believing we have re-entered the memory, and we are actually there. Don’t worry the no Bullshit, steps are coming, but we have to recognize the why in this situation.
Why do we do this?
A friend of mine is a lawyer, before that he was a Marine. He served two tours in Iraq, He was infantry. His PTSD had struck him so hard, that he literally lost bowel control in the night. He was telling me this story because he had heard that I helped a few of our friends in the matter. He met the criteria, he needed to sleep and he could not. He was panicking in the middle of the night. His wife was constantly upset at him. He was often times crying himself to sleep. Honesty like this rarely rears its ugly head. He was in pain. He needed help, much like you if you are reading this. You may be suffering from the same problems. Yours may be more severe. Never fear. This technique worked for him, and many others like him.
- Identify your problem
- Research your problem
- Solve your problem
3 Simple steps, you have figured out what needs to be done. Now stop thinking about it.
So let's skip the Bullshit already
How do we friggin fall asleep?
Guys, Gals, I understand how you feel. I was here at one point in my life. I no longer even have to follow these steps. Let’s start with falling asleep first.
I mentioned before that at one point in your life, you have entered pure relaxation. You didn’t have a care in the world. You were at peace, and you felt outstanding. We are re-entering that memory. For me, I use an image of a beach.
Picture that beach or memory.
Finding a focal point is the key to this. It can be the horizon of the ocean, or a tree in the middle of a field, permitting your memory is different than a beach.
Find a Focal point, Stare at that focal point. (Maintain the focal point through the entire experience)
Heat or cold is the sense that will fire this memory into motion. On a beach, you can feel the sun beating down on your body. If the memory is cold, imagine the feeling on your skin.
Imagine heat or cold, Give the Heat or Cold a source, ie Sun, Ice.
Smell the air consciously. In a beach setting you can smell salt, ocean spray, sand, even the humidity in the air. Actively try to engage your smell memory.
Smell the environment
There really is no step 5, you will be asleep. By the time you are able to smell the air in your memory, you are fast asleep. It’s important that you remember never to lose that focal point. If you do things will become hazy and you will have to start all over.
When I was researching this technique and highlighting its finer points, I found it incredibly easy to enter lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is having control over your dreams. An easier way to describe lucid dreaming is realizing that you are in a dream, therefore have a free range of things you can do.
Understanding why it is you are experiencing the things that you are, coupled with having tics that set you into motion in lucid dream is key. A good grasp on reality helps as well. Seeing a car turn into a butterfly is not something you would normally see while you were awake, So identifying reality from a dream is pretty easy.
Lucid dreamers often times find themselves with a tell. A tell is something that they themselves have created in order to trigger a lucid dream. For example, in the movie Inception, The main character Leonardo DiCaprio carries around a top. He spins the top until it falls over in reality, in a dream it spins and spins. Now naturally items like these can be carried in your waking hours. Or you can do like I do and just snap your fingers. Snapping your fingers in reality sounds like any regular snap, it’s quite easy, it requires little to know muscle. In a dream, snapping your fingers could be difficult, or may not sound like a normal snap. This can be your tell that you are in fact dreaming.
Once you have identified the difference between reality and a dream, you have free range to fly, or conjure items such as fast cars or women. Lucid dreaming allows you to unlock previous memories through the way you saw them. Those memories can also be used to fall asleep with again following steps 1-4.
Sleepy Time is an app that works on any smart phone. It allows for essentially two options. The time you need to go to bed to wake up at a certain time feeling rested, and the time you need to wake up for a full night’s sleep. You can enter this one of two ways: Entering the time you feel you will go to sleep, and entering the time that you absolutely need to wake up.
You can then experiment with REM Cycles and time slept.
About the Author
Hey Guys and Gals, I am Ashleign aka ChillBilly. I have been writing for a little over two years. My previous work experience includes IT, EMS and Fire Departments. I have been working in the Agriculture business for the past 4 years. I hope to extend my career for another decade and perhaps one day become a full time writer. Thank you for reading my blog concerning sleeping. I hope it helps someone out there find happiness and finally solitude where it counts the most.