Consciousness – Self Possession – Insomnia

Friday, April 25th, 2008 at 6:17 pm.
by pre.

Our bedtime guided meditation files are designed to help you drift into sleep, to help you to relax, wind down and hopefully influence your dreams so that even while you sleep your brain can be striving towards transcendence.

However, as many as fifty percent of people suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives, and when people can’t drift easily into sleep it’s less likely our suggestions will influence their dreams, and perhaps more importantly they’ll be tired, drained and miserable much of the time. Hardly transcended!

Trouble sleeping is often a result of a racing mind, people’s thought processes run away with them, they’re essentially thinking too much to be able to fall asleep. They find that their brain starts chasing its own tail, running in circles. Just as it’s difficult to sleep when the neighbours are shouting, so people find it’s even more difficult to sleep when the noises are originating within their own head.

Stress can also cause insomnia, a wound-up person with high blood pressure can find it hard to relax properly, and it’s almost impossible to sleep soundly when feeling tense and anxious.

Luckily, there is a simple process we can recommend which works both by reducing stress and by helping to eliminate the stream of thoughts that a racing mind can produce, a method which will both help to to relax, and distract you from the brain’s runaway self-accelerating thought processes which can keep you up half the night.

Simple meditation practices have been proven to reduce stress, and a frequent reason that people never practice any meditation techniques is that they claim they don’t have the time. Given that the actual technique of most meditation processes is to clear the mind of all thoughts, to focus on one thing and continually revert your focus to that one thing, it seems that there’s ample opportunity here to stone a whole flock of birds at once.

So it comes as no surprise that when Dr. Miskiman from the University of Alberta studied the issue he found that insomniacs who learned to meditate could reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep from seventy minutes to just ten. See “The treatment of insomnia by means of meditation” (Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Program: Collected Papers. Volume 1, 1976).

How To Meditate In Bed

Firstly, if your mind is racing around worrying about something, or trying to figure something out, it’ll be impossible to let it go until you resolve to do something about it. Even if you just resolve to ask for a friend’s advice, you will need to be able to satisfy yourself that you have promised to take action before it’ll be possible to let the dog-chasing-it’s-tail thought processes slip away. Once you have done so though, you’ll be surprised how easily you can step out of the loop.

Next, ensure you’re lying comfortably. Tense and then relax each muscle in your body, starting at the toes and slowly making your way up your body to the head. Focus on your breathing. Breathe deeply, slowly, and listen to the slow rush of air moving in and out of your nose. Let it get slower and slower. When you’ve tensed and released the muscles in your face to finish, just relax and listen to the noise of the flow of air.

You will almost certainly be distracted, you will lose focus. Your brain will begin to think about that meeting in the morning, or your relationship worries, or the TV show you saw earlier in the day. Do not be surprised. Do not feel disappointed. This is inevitable. Merely note the fact and then dismiss the thought, go back to listening to your own breath, concentrating on feeling your breathing get deeper and slower.

Likewise, if you’re distracted by external noises like a siren on the street outside, or a neighbour loudly banging a door, or a fox crying in the garden, just try to ignore it and redouble your efforts to empty your mind of thoughts and concentrate on the slow in… out… in… out… of the flow of air to and fro into your lungs as you breathe slowly, very deeply, thinking of nothing but your own breath.

To begin with some people, especially those who aren’t very practised at the process of meditation, may begin to think that it won’t work, that they’ll end up staying up all night worrying about the fact they won’t sleep. If this happens you should simply accept that you may find yourself practising to meditate for the next eight hours. While this will not be as refreshing, relaxing and rejuvenating as a good night’s sleep, you should be aware that a solid eight hours meditation is certainly better for you than eight hours of fretting and worrying about sleeplessness. Eight hours of meditation is almost as good as eight hours sleep. Again, just dismiss the thoughts and concentrate on the flow of air into and out of your lungs.

This process, making sure your mind is as empty as possible during the time between listening to our guided meditation mp3 and falling asleep, will also help to keep you from polluting the dream-suggestions embedded within our files. We highly recommend thinking as little as possible between the end of the audio and the beginning of sleep. Just concentrate on your breathing, on relaxing all of your muscles, and on letting any intrusive thoughts drift though your mind rather than catching it and driving it into self-destructive sleep-distracting patterns.

Finally, remember that most people who suffer from insomnia do so only temporarily. We all need sleep, and as long as you can relax and avoid getting worked up about your sleep-lack, the chances are you can catch up tomorrow even if you spend the entire night merely listening to the noise of your own lungs inflating and deflating, relaxing, calming yourself, learning to chill down.

Guided Meditation File 3 – Consciousness – Self Possession
Backing Music “2012” By Nerious
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