Use sleep creatively
Sleep is the realm of the unconscious (subconscious) mind which is vast and contains much wisdom.
Sleep deprivation is a big problem today. People's minds are so overworked, and bodies so underworked that when they hit the bed, sleeping becomes an effort. And deep sleep is something like a distant dream. How would one practise the art of getting deeper relaxing sleep.
The art is: Meditate on the knowledge that comes through sleep.
It can be practised if you change the gestalt of looking at sleep. That sleep is also a natural state of mind, just like the waking state. These two states are complimentary to each other, not opposite. They both exist in their own right. Sleep is the realm of the unconscious mind which is vast and contains much wisdom. You can actually draw knowledge from your sleep. If you bring awareness to your sleep you can use it for getting messages through your vast unconscious mind.
But the first effort has to be made in the daytime. While you are awake be more awake. Walking on the street, walk mindfully, as if you are doing something very important. Each step should be taken in full awareness. If you can do that, only then you can enter sleep with awareness. You have to bring more energy to it, so much energy that when the conscious mind goes off, awareness continues on its own - and you fall asleep with awareness. The whole day, whatsoever you are doing, it should become an excuse for the inner triaining of mindfulness. So the activity becomes secondary; awareness through that activity becomes primary. When by the night you drop all activity and you go to sleep, that awareness continues. Even while you are falling asleep the awareness becomes a watcher that the body is falling asleep. By and by, the body is relaxing. By and by, thoughts are disappearing. You watch the gaps. By and by, the world is very very distant. You are moving into the the basement of your being, the unconscious.
If you can fall down asleep with awareness, only then the continuity will be there in the night.
Tapping the powers of unconscious (subconscious):
Let's first understand how your mind works. Your mind is divided into conscious which is only 10% of the mindpower and the Subconscious which is 90% of the mindpower. Now fundamentally we work through our conscious mind so are able to tap only the 10% of the mindpower. 90% mindpower controls our digestion, respiration, urine control, blood circulation etc and also our memory, gladness, fears phobias etc. So all the important work is done by the subconscious mind. Now the key is to tap the 90% potential of the subconscious to change our lives :-)
The last thought that you get, just before sleep continues throughout the whole night and becomes the first thought of the early morning. Then it works in the background throughout the whole day so you actually are controlled by what thought you got just before sleeping just one night ago.
So when you are just about to fall asleep, when you are niether partiallly awake, in this twilight zone imagine whatever you want to have with an image with as much detail as possible. For example, if you want to buy a car, imagine the colour, model, price, comforts of the car. Imagine opeing the door of the car. This car is already yours, you are doing it already. When the subconscious mind is fed with positive words that you want to achieve. Then your subconscious mind creates circumstanes whereby you fulfill your own words. Don't believe me just do it yourself and see the difference.