Steemitarian "Doctor" Advice - How to Fall Asleep Naturally with Practice, Persistence and Intention :)
Tonight I contemplate the world of sedatives. The things we can use to turn off. To fall asleep without effort. Passing out before we have even fully relaxed. What a mind fuck these medications can be. They are addictive and filled with bitter sweet loving seduction.
And then there are those of us like me, who have the ever turning contemplative monkey mind. Thoughts that I love to have but detest having in the middle of the night. Contemplations, possibilities, worries, fears, hopes, desires. The kaleidoscope of perpetual mind motion. My brain is my friend, my love, at times my dreaded enemy attacker.
Often as a doctor, I have patients who speak about their sleep and often, lack of it. Without good sleep, I know that this patient of mine will have less capacity to heal and gain strength and feel stable. So sleep is one of my initial and most important pieces of art through guidance and assessment.
"Please help me sleep better"
To this, I offer first of all this point of knowledge.
I believe it is near impossible in these times to combat the mind, to overcome it, to just turn it off. We are powerful creatures because of what our brain offers and our world is precariously placed for our future and our children. Our brains' capacity is beneficially geared to succeed and survive. This is serious shit we are dealing with in our lives, let's face it. We are animals with instincts, both conscious and unconscious.
I believe the mind must be honoured and respected, harnessed and guided.
Before sleep, write down any important thoughts that add to the list of necessities for the next day or week. Goal setting and list keeping can be a beautiful trait for those people who feel scattered due to many directions pulling at them with duties and responsibilities. For me, setting intention is key. By pointing yourself in a direction of things of importance, you become more focused and aware of the opportunities that you seek.
Respect the intent that this list allows you to put these thoughts aside and quiets them until you can pick them up the next day. They are now out of your head and solidly in the world, do not perseverate on these thoughts anymore. Moving on....
Harnessing the power of the the mind
Consider how you enjoy learning.
Are you a visual, auditory or kinesthetic person ?
To have the best chance to fall asleep heavily and deeply, you need to find your place that is calm, peaceful and safe.
Do you have that place already ? Have you ever contemplated or created this place in your mind before ? The time is now to embrace that place and make it your own. Own it, envelope it, embrace it. You will love it and it will love you right back.
My calm, peaceful and safe place is the stereotypical beach.
I love beaches !
White sands, blue skies, amber warm sunsets...sultry waves, tropical breezes, so warm and nurturing. I have practiced this image for many many years and it is a familiar place that sends me to sleep in a record amount of time. Not to say that I never have nights where I can't seem to sleep or relax, feeling unable to have my nervous system release. But the majority of the time, my beach is my haven and takes me away to this self-made cocoon of safety and calm.
Like any other muscle in the body, for it to be strong, it needs to be strengthened and fed through repetition and consistency. Some evenings, I will bring myself back to my beach dozens of times. Over the years, due to my persistence in creating and investing in my heavenly beach, I now experience an immediate sense of full body relaxation that at time comes and pulls me away into its realm.
It will become easier with time, persistence and intention.
It is so easy to take a pill to fall asleep. One small bitter bite and all of the things we want to forget and ignore become but a past dream that is forgotten until the next day.
Sedatives, particularly benzodiazepines, are highly addictive and create withdrawal once you decide to go suddenly without them. You can get trapped into the chasm of the sedative. Trying to climb the steep hill on either side of this seemingly easy choice...sinking back into the darkness of forget. You can suffer greatly (and perhaps even die) coming off on benzo's suddenly and without support, so please do not do this alone ! Ask for help and seek out a plan of replacing the fast acting sedatives for longer acting, more forgiving, less immediately intense ones.
Practice this skill I speak of here now. Practice allowing your body and mind to naturally find your safe and peaceful place where you can sleep and let go. Either way, even while on sedating medications, you can find a path moving forward.
If we do not feel safe, we will not sleep.
The stress hormones of our animal human side will encourage us to stay awake in order to survive these fears and insecurities.
Your perfect moment in time
My husband is auditory and has a progressive relaxation meditation on his phone that he plays. The soothing words of one-by-one muscle release are magically relaxing for him.
If you are kinesthetic, consider using a weighted blanket. Or having a stuffie like my daughter who snuggles them at night for comfort...what are your needs ?
Peaceful, calm and safe.
Peaceful, calm and safe.
Peaceful, calm and safe.