Insomnia may sound like a minor problem but it isn’t. Insomnia can be absolute torture for those who suffer with it. It can be terrifying as well because it makes you feel like you have no control over yourself and yet your body is betraying you by not letting you get any rest and as a result your ability to function is stolen from you. For this reason, I’m going to explain what is really causing your insomnia.
When you are living your waking life, you have two points of perspective. You are your eternal self-essence, what many call the soul. And you are also your temporal human self that you call by your name. Your level of comfort in this life emotionally is all about the vibrational difference between these two perspectives. The farther the vibrational difference is between these two perspectives, the less energy is actually available to your physical embodiment. To understand much more about these two aspects of you and about how these two aspects of you relate, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: Happiness is the Purpose of Your Life, Want to Know Why?
In the moment of sleep, unconsciously your two points of perspective join so there is no vibrational difference between them. There is no tug of war going on between them and thus, immediately, more energy is available to your physical body. Most people experience sleep as refreshing because of that fact. Technically, a person would not need to sleep if they could find a way to consciously prevent their two perspectives from splitting while they are awake. This is why many yogis and meditation masters do not need sleep. Alas, most people are not capable of that in waking life, so we experience a need for sleep.
What does this mean if you have insomnia? It means that the vibrational tug of war/contradiction between your two points of perspective (your temporal self and your essence) is so great that it will not let up enough for you to even release resistance enough to go to sleep in the first place. If you struggle with insomnia, you are struggling with resistance. You are struggling with a tug of war between your essence and your temporal self.
Think about this for a minute… Why do you think that a baby can sleep so well? It is because a baby does not have a strong sense of identity yet. There is not much difference between their temporal self and their essence. There is no contradiction between their temporal self and their essence. There is no tug of war going on.
So you can understand what I mean by a tug of war between your essence and your temporal self, I will give you some examples. Your essence says, “I want to experience abundance and because of my perspective, I know we could have abundance right now”. While your temporal self says, “I don’t have enough money to start a business so I have to work at my minimum wage job that I hate.” Or your essence says, “No, this is a bad idea” and your temporal self says, “This is the only thing that makes sense”. Or your essence says, “I want to be with that person” and your temporal self says “I am going to get hurt by them.” Do you see that inherent in each of these examples is a contradiction between the essence and the temporal self? This keeps a person in a restless state.
For most people, the minute you can release some of the resistance inherent in this tug of war, like a magnet, a person’s essence will call their temporal self to it. And on a physical level this will be experienced as falling asleep.
Now here is the crappiest part. When you can’t fall asleep, but you have the belief that if you do not sleep bad things will happen, you begin to stress out about not falling asleep. This is like adding one more person to a game of tug of war on each side. The contradiction now being between your essence saying “Sleep” and your temporal self saying “I can’t sleep”. So, when you are suffering from insomnia, the first thing that has to be done is to release resistance to not sleeping in general.
You should know that most of our belief about needing sleep is the byproduct of our childhoods. Parents are naturally exhausted by having to watch their children all moments of the day and are naturally afraid of how behaviorally difficult the job of parenting gets if a child is tired. So the anxiety about a child having to sleep is really about the parent needing to have time where they are not having to constantly monitor the child and have a break; as well as the anxiety about trying to avoid dealing with a child who is misbehaving because they are tired. This anxiety about not sleeping is then transferred to the child and that child grows up with the belief that bad things happen if they don’t get enough sleep.
This isn’t to say that sleeping is totally unnecessary. Sleeping is healthy and most people need it because they cannot maintain alignment between their temporal self and their essence. But the anxiety we have around the need for sleep is usually the byproduct of the transfer of “you need to sleep” anxiety from our parents to us.
There is such a thing a positive and negative insomnia. You could call it excitement induced insomnia and anxiety induced insomnia. The conflict with negative insomnia is between the essence (which wants the temporal self to align with it and knows that would happen through sleeping) and the temporal self (which feels it cannot go to sleep). On the other hand, positive insomnia is a conflict between the essence (which wants the temporal self to align with it and knows that would better be accomplished by staying awake) and the temporal self (which wants to fall asleep instead of stay awake).
In the first case, if one stays awake, he or she will feel terrible because energy will not be flowing from the essence through the temporal self. In the other case, if one stays awake, he or she will feel fine because energy will be flowing from the essence to the temporal self with more ease by staying awake. If you have excitement induced insomnia, take it as a message to stay awake and to channel that energy towards what excites you. It means you will be refreshed by something other than sleep. It’s the call of source and you should never ignore or try to force yourself to sleep through the call of source.
Knowing all of this, I am going to spell out for you what you should do if you are struggling with negative insomnia.
1. Think or say or do anything you can that will enable you to stop obsessing with having to sleep. Get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep for 20 minutes. During my years of insomnia, if I would get into the spiral of obsessing over having to sleep but not being able to, I would tell myself it was a message from the universe that there are more important things to be doing for me at that moment and I would get up and do something productive, like write or draw or read. Anything to get my attention off of “I have to sleep or else.” But I’m about to tell you in the next step what the most effective thing to do if you suffer from insomnia is…
2. Get out a pen and paper and figure out what the exact contradiction is between your essence and your temporal self. There may be more than one.
3. Think or say or do anything you can to resolve the conflict between your essence and your temporal self. For example, if I realized that the contradiction between my essence and temporal self was that my essence wanted to move to another country but that by temporal self was resisting that idea through all kinds of disaster scenarios, I would write down anything that would make me feel better about moving. Then I might begin taking actions on my plans of moving that would make me feel less fear about moving. Naturally I would feel the tension and resistance go away as the tug of war ended between the two aspects of me and I would drift off to sleep. Nothing will serve to end insomnia as much as becoming aware of the conflict between your essence and your temporal self and doing anything you can to resolve that conflict. Ease in the being naturally leads most people with insomnia to sleep.
4. If you feel compelled to try a drastic action, re-set your internal clock by committing 100% to deliberately staying awake for 36 hours. Make this a challenge you fully take on. Do not drive during this challenge. And then let yourself fall asleep when you want your bedtime to be. Let yourself sleep 8 hours and wake up. It will be really hard to wake up, but do it anyway. Drink plenty of water during the day and do not take any caffeine or anything else to help yourself stay awake. Go to sleep when you want your bedtime to be that next night. And maintain this sleep schedule from that day forward. Sleep schedule is very important for people who suffer from insomnia.
5. Meditate instead of sleep. Meditation is actually a more effective tool for rejuvenation because it accomplishes the same thing that sleep does, only consciously instead of unconsciously. There is a reason that people who meditate need much less sleep.
6. Use positive focus. Your mind is already in a negative focus spiral. Usually a negative focus on the ramifications of not sleeping spiral on top of a negative focus spiral on behalf of the temporal self about something the essence is wanting (and thus trying to pull the temporal self in the direction of). So lie in bed and think of all of the positive things you can possibly think of. Your mind is already obsessing so direct that obsession. Positive focus on anything, no matter how small or large actually causes a tug of war in your being to end. So make your mind obsessively hunt for any thought or thing that makes you feel better.
7. Reduce stress in your life in general. Obviously the greatest way to reduce stress is to resolve the conflict between your essence and your temporal self. But beyond that (even though it sounds easier said than done) reducing stress in general in your life is a good idea. For suggestions about how to do this, I encourage you to watch my videos on YouTube titled: How To Get Rid Of Anxiety and Uncertainty (How To Deal With Uncertainty).
8. This may seem like a no brainer but many people who can’t sleep, can’t sleep because of something simple. Something like the room not being dark enough or the position of your bed in the room or there being too much noise outside or being uncomfortable or being too hot. So make sure you eliminate any potential outside factor like that, which could be preventing you from sleeping.
9. Change your diet. Eliminate caffeine and sugar from your diet and simple carbohydrates. Make sure that your last meal of the day is really low on carbohydrates. On the other hand healthy fats like avocado, Omega 3 oils, seeds, coconut oil and nuts are a good idea to eat. Make sure you are eating enough foods that are rich in magnesium and potassium as well. If you don’t think you are getting enough, take a good quality supplement that provides your body with these things. Also, drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration lends itself to insomnia.
10. Stay away from electronics with screens like TVs, Phones and Computers, especially the ones that cast off blue light. Certain wavelengths of light tell your brain it’s time to be awake instead of to go to sleep. So, stay away from these things if you can for an hour or more before bedtime. If you absolutely can’t force yourself to do this, see if you can modify the filter on those screens. There are several aps available now a days that can make it so that the light coming through you screen is modified to a wavelength that does not keep your brain awake.
11. Create a wind down ritual. A lot of parents have a very structured wind down ritual for their kids to prepare them for a good night sleep. They do this because it works. So imagine that you were an oversized little kid and create a bedtime ritual for yourself as if you were your own parent. A ritual that is all about ease for yourself. If you struggle with insomnia, you need to plan your day for a wind down ritual at night. Taylor this ritual to what works to make you feel relief. For example, take a warm bath with Epsom salts; rub essential oils specifically for sleep into your neck and chest. Do a wind down activity that makes you feel ease like reading something that makes you feel good or writing or listening to something that relaxes you. Not only does this work because of the relaxing nature of the activities themselves, but also because your brain will start to associate those actions and things with sleep and so sleep will naturally eventually be triggered by doing them.
12. Ask yourself, why do I want to sleep? Come up with a list of reasons and see if you can brainstorm any other way to accomplish those things other than through sleep.
Insomnia may feel like the end of sanity, as you know it. But there is always a valid reason for it and so often the reason is not that something is wrong with you. It is that there is a contradiction going on inside you. So find out what that contradiction is.