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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - Getting enough sleep - falling asleep - Institute for Jedi Realist Studies

Getting enough sleep - falling asleep

  • Anirac Morgan
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Anirac Morgan created the topic: Getting enough sleep - falling asleep

Those who know me know I have struggled a lot with insomnia and sleeping issues.
I've found one method that works on most days though and thought I'd share it here in case some might be interested. It really is vital to get enough sleep, particularly if you are vulnerable to mental health issues.

I've had good results using tension relieving techniques, based on mindfulness meditation.
This is just a recipy I use and that has worked for me; no educated templet for anything.

- First ensure I lie in a comfortable position.
- Focus on breathing; ensure it's not shallow breath, make longer out-breaths.
- Slowly and tentatively focusing on one part of my body at the time, mainly loosening jaw tension and tension in the muscles around the eyes and forehead, then do the entire body.
- At which point my breathing will have gone shallow again (seems to automatically do) so I return to breath and ensure it's proper
- While focusing on breath my facial muscles has tensed up again (never seem to be body, just those jaw, eye and forehead muscles) so I again ease out the tension with each out breath, at this point combining the two.

And basically I repeat those steps for a few times. Each time I get pulled into thought I smile at the thought before returning to breath.

When I manage to ensure that I do not fall pray to thought I can instead focus on the subconscious chatter over the conscious one. Thing is; dreaming is subconscious chatter, but that doesn't mean we cannot access it while still awake. When I manage to not get pulled into the conscious chatter I can simply lie there and watch images and small video bits playing across my eyelids. Most of it seems largely symbolical/random and doesn't really make sense, but I do not try to make sense of it. The point is to detach from the conscious mind and rest in a state where I am closer to the subconscious mind, hence closer to the wanted state; sleep.

By using this method I've fallen asleep about 30 min after the girlfriend falls asleep every day this week, as opposed to the full hour or two or more on some occasions I ended up lying there and twisting last week and on previous occasions.

Sometimes I have to lie there for a small bit before the pictures starts rolling, and it's easy to end up putting conscious thought to them. Like, I'll see an airplane and think loudly AIRPLANE. FACE. EYE. But I then try to return to breath. In the beginning I cannot return to breath/relaxing facial muscles while paying attention to the subconscious stream, but in minutes I am able to do all of it at the same time without any sort of strain.

And it's very relaxing, eventually leading to sleep.

***
Now I know this is pretty much meditative steps, and that some will not like tying meditation steps to sleep, but I haven't experienced being more tired during meditation after using this method to fall asleep. Most of the time meditation is with intent and also I am far less strict then on cutting conscious chatter, simply making distance to it and remaining an observer of whatever conscious thoughts arise, without participating or letting the thoughts pull me in. So still different circumstance and slightly different technique.

Qui-Gon Jinn: "There's always a bigger fish."
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Jax replied the topic: Getting enough sleep - falling asleep

Have you tried essential oils? I have use a calming blent the last two nights and slept significantly better than I have in months, perhaps even before I got pregnant. It's quite shocking to me. Also, have you looked at the other sleep threads to see if any of those work? You might find a combination that works well for you.
instituteforjedirealiststudies.org/forum/11-health-and-fitness/23701-improving-sleep-in-1-simple-step
instituteforjedirealiststudies.org/forum/11-health-and-fitness/6134-insomnia
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Anirac Morgan replied the topic: Getting enough sleep - falling asleep

I hadn't, but I'll take a look at it :)

I already know the basic advice; get to bed at the same time each day, get enough exercise/sunlight (not so easy with sun in Norway this time of the year, lol), eat well and keep it dark + cold in the bedroom, but that stuff has tended to not work at all for me in the past, considering my insomnia has often been due to level of thought activity due to my bipolar. Racing thoughts and all :P

I'll take a look at the topics you've linked for me, thanks :)

Qui-Gon Jinn: "There's always a bigger fish."
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Jax replied the topic: Getting enough sleep - falling asleep

That's why we haven't focused on the standard advice here. Only when something is unique or different. :-) And my wife is bipolar, so I understand the struggle from the outside at least.
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Connor replied the topic: Getting enough sleep - falling asleep

Just another breathing method to try (in case you feel adventurous):

1. Breathe in through the nose until you are engaging your pelvic basket muscles (think peeing or lifting something heavy, then take ONE step back from that so it doesn't "hurt")
2. Hold the breath for 5 seconds
3. Then release through the mouth.
Repeat about 30 times.

This is actually a stress-relief deep breathing exercise I learned for weight loss stuff. But, I find it makes me VERY VERY groggy and sleepy. Which helps me some nights! As somebody who used to be totally dependent on Nyquil, it's a godsend.

House Rules: The only rules are Paradox, Humor, and Change.
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Anirac Morgan replied the topic: Getting enough sleep - falling asleep

I never say no to a meditative adventure, lol.
I'll test it out, thanks! :)

Jackie, I cannot try essential oils or something of the kind as we do not have a bathtub and anything in the bedroom would bother the girlfriend. She's very sensitive to smells and parfumes. Unless it's some form of subtle roll on or something that she won't be bothered from. She has a sensitive nose, lol.

Qui-Gon Jinn: "There's always a bigger fish."
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Jax replied the topic: Getting enough sleep - falling asleep

Take her to a place to smell them. There's a big difference between essential oils and artificial smells.
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