If you’re plagued by insomnia or taking too long to fall asleep, you’ll find plenty of advice online. Yet a third of U.S. adults report not getting enough sleep, so that advice might not be helping much.
I have a technique to offer the sleep-deprived, and it’s not one I’ve seen mentioned on the internet as a way to fall asleep. This is the second technique or practice that I’ve published for this purpose. The first was described at this website several years ago, in a post titled, Taming the “Little Monsters” of Insomnia.
The “Little Monsters” technique involves recognition of the role that inner passivity plays in insomnia. When inner passivity is activated in the psyche, people can lie awake unable to sleep because they’re entangled emotionally in feeling helpless, which produces anxiety and stress. This helplessness often arises from the feeling of being unable to tame the worrisome, self-critical, or catastrophic thinking running amok in one’s mind. The technique involves acquiring self-knowledge, namely deeper awareness of one’s unconscious self-defeating readiness to resonate emotionally with feelings of helplessness and self-doubt.
The second technique is based on the loving-kindness meditation, which is derived from Buddhism and also found in ancient Hinduism and Jainism texts. Here’s how it works: When lying awake unable to sleep, begin to reflect upon other people in your life. Pick a person from among your family members, friends, work associates, or someone struggling with disease, finances, or other hardships. Begin to feel that you care about that person and that you’re sending that person your kindest thoughts and feelings. [Read more…]