I’ve talked about sleep before and have looked at this subject in great detail because of all the years of working with shift workers. And as I have said before, more sleep is lost when people feel that they are not getting their quota…and here lies the key in understanding this view of sleep!
The experts say that we need eight to ten hours sleep every night to get enough, but where did they get this figure? I think that we are looking at the problem with ‘not getting the quota’ the wrong way around. In other words, if your life is more peaceful and that you are at ease, you don’t need to sleep The Quota. So you will get better sleep if your lifestyle permits it?
Sleep is only one way of resting and I used to say to shift workers that their sleep would come when needed and that at least resting in bed was still rest. Don’t get me wrong: sleep is imperative if you want a healthy life, but people get hung up on the number of eight hours when they should attune to how they feel when they wake up. If you wake up feeling rejuvenated and energized, you have had enough sleep!
So, if we look at what I mean about having a lifestyle where you are at ease, I am mostly talking about your state of mind. Although the other physical factors are important – such as not smoking; not using electrical stimulus before going to bed (watching television or using the computer); having a bedtime routine; eating at least fours hours before going to bed…to name a few – if your mind is not at ease, then your sleep won’t. If you were totally at ease then your sleep would only need to be the minimum. So learn the skill of being at ease all the time.
Now this is not ‘rocket science’ but being at ease all the time takes practice. A lot of people say that they would like to stop the ‘mind chatter’ particularly when they wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep because their mind might be replaying something that had disturbed them the day before or recently…but the only time the mind stops the chatter completely is when you die. Better to concentrate on the present point in time if you want to stop the continuing loop of disturbing thoughts in your mind?
Disturbing thoughts create negative emotions which create more disturbing thoughts…and so continues the loop… Gaining a bit of mind control by focusing on the here and now will stop this negative pattern – whether you want to go back to sleep or stop this pattern when you are awake. So how do you do this?
Most people like a Stepped Aproach, although it is not necessary, but if you find it easier to work by patterns, then here it is: –
- Become aware of the scene around you and the noises from your environment. Take note of everything you see and hear as most of us use a lot of energy blocking these sensations of the moment out.
- Pay attention to the details of what you see and hear and even add in the sensations of touch and how you feel lying or sitting there. Even become aware of your breathing and use your imagination of what each of your trillions of cells are doing to keep you alive if you like.
- Now pay homage to everything you see and hear and to the amazing ability of your body to keep you alive.
- Be grateful for what you have got, including life itself. With this pattern of thought you will find you slow thought which gives you more spacial consciousness.
This pattern of thinking has changed you from the negative to the positive and even take small moments throughout your day to practice this skill. Stop this movement towards the negatives and dis-ease and become less distressed which changes your energy equation, which means that you will have a higher quality of sleep and decrease the need to sleep The Quota…