Sleep and Dream Training With Meditation
Sleep and Dream Training with Meditation
In this article you will learn a few great practices to help with developing good Sleep and Dream Training techniques. Learn some breathing tricks to help you fall asleep faster and learn how to remember our dreams. We will also work with strategies to listen and understand what our dreams have to offer. Briefly we will show you how you can experience lucid dreams on demand and start a successful dream practice. Lets get started.
When you master a meditation technique to help control your sleep, you will never toss and turn again struggling to quiet your mind and to drift off to sleep. You can use these techniques daily or, if you only need them occasionally they will be in your tool chest to serve you as needed.
These tools will help when traveling in different times zones helping you to sleep anywhere, anytime and with out using sleeping pills. The use of meditation techniques to help with falling asleep will help you improve your imagination and fantasy which is often neglected as we get caught up in the day-to-day chaos we experience in our busy adult lives.
If you use sleeping pills to fall asleep at night they will often interfere with your natural dream and sleep cycles. When you sleep at night your mind moves through different levels of activity in the brain this is called a sleep cycle and usually lasts about 90 minutes. In the first cycle of sleep your brainwave state slows down to the delta level for the majority of the first cycle. As we move through then night we will spend less time in the delta state and more time in other levels such as the alpha state.
Research studies have shown that sleep deprivation is often caused by not spending enough time in the alpha state during sleep. By not getting enough alpha sleep you can become irritable, distracted easily, have a lack of focus, and even experience hallucinations.
If you wake up in the morning and are tired and feel lack of energy through out the day there often is a problem with your sleep quality. Usually trouble sleeping comes from stress, life situations and anxiety that we all face day-to-day.
Often we get so caught up in our work, daily to dos and family that we forget about our own well-being. It is important to get some form of exercise every day (brisk walking, jogging, cycling, martial arts, swimming) there are many possibilities.
Elevating your heart rate for at least 20 minutes every day will help improve the quality of your sleep as well as keeping your metabolism up giving you more energy throughout the day.
Your diet also plays a big role in your sleep quality. I am not going to go into detail on this topic because to do it correctly would go well beyond the scope of a single blog. Here are a few tips that you can apply to see immediate results in your sleep quality.
1- Try eating 5-6 smaller meals instead of 3 larger meals.
2- Add more green vegetables, berries, and whole grains to your diet.
3- Make sure to get enough protein.
4- Most importantly do not eat right before bed. Give yourself a couple of hours after your last meal before going to bed.
Most of you already know this so that is why we are keeping it short but it is very important so I felt we should at least touch on the topic.
A good meditation technique requires mental activity and commitment. Often when you start you will not see immediate results and will need to practice to master the technique. When you start a meditation technique to help with falling asleep commit to continuing with the technique until you fall asleep no matter how long it takes.
If you make this commitment it will help to fight the natural resistance you will experience. Any time we try something new there is a learning curve and it is easy to fall back in to our old patterns and continue to do what is easy and comfortable.
By making this commitment your mind will find it easier to surrender to this new practice because you are not offering the option to go back to the old pattern. This step is very important for your success with these practices.
Before we begin our first sleep technique it is important to have a clear picture of any possible distractions that may affect our sleep patterns. We are going to do this by facing the distractions, problems or stressors that are keeping the mind from slowing down and letting us drift off to sleep.
First get a piece of paper and write down all of your worries, concerns and any problems that are bothering you. Then next to each of those problems write down a possible solution or positive outcome. Don’t spend too much time thinking about all of the consequences or possibilities and don’t worry about how you would make these solutions a reality.
The goal here is to give yourself a positive direction to focus on so when you are trying to sleep you are not focusing on the all of the problems and distractions. Often by using this practice and programming the mind to see the positive out comes upon falling asleep during sleep your subconscious mind will continue to explore these positive options. You will find that by implementing this practice you will often awaken with a new solution to the problem.
Now that you set you mental foundation and are in more positive mind frame you are ready to use the sleep tuning technique to guide your self to sleep.
Your breathing can be used to control your energetic state. If you can recall ever listening to someone sleep there natural breathing pattern is a longer inhale and a faster effortless exhale. The inhale breath is the yin side of your breath and the exhale is the yang side.
Meaning the inhale breath is less active, centering, inward energy and calming. This is a trick we will use with certain meditation techniques when we are trying to develop deeper spiritual meditations or working with muscle tendon changing and brain and marrow washing techniques you will learn more about in future blog discussions.
This strategy is also very effective here using it as a tool to help with sleeping. As you are lying in bed relax and watch your natural breath for a few cycles. Then begin to lengthen the inhale breath and slightly pause for a second at the top of the inhale then release the exhale breath. An example of this breath would be to inhale for an 8 second count pause for 1 second then exhale for 4 seconds.
You do not have to follow this time line it is important to make sure your breath is relaxed and natural. Every time you exhale visualize letting go of any tension in the body and then repeat. Remember to make the commitment in the beginning to continue until you are successful. It will get easier and easier soon you will be able to fall asleep in just minutes.
Stay tuned in to our blog and face book page we will be giving future lessons on other great techniques you can use to help with falling asleep.
Dream work is the next topic we will look at here. Dream work has always been fascinating to me and I have a lot of fun and have learned a great deal from these practices. If you commit to this practice you will be amazed at how they will expand your awareness and spark your creativity.
Strange, incredible and even impossible things happen in our dreams. Most people never realize when they are dreaming nor do they understand the many possibilities that could be explored if they did. If you have ever woken up with in your dream you have experienced lucid dreams and most likely have at least seen a glimpse of how amazing it can be.
Using lucid dreaming in your meditation practice can help you discover many things you often cannot see in our awakened state. It gives you new insights for developing your creativity, awareness, and inspirations. It can also offer solutions to many of the problems you may have.
When starting down this path you need to gather some information first and expand your vision so you will have the power to wake up in your dreams more often.
Then first step is to start with a dream journal.
You will want to keep your dream journal by your bedside and every time you wake up from a dream write down everything you remember. As we mentioned earlier we sleep in cycles usually about 4-5 sleep cycles for every 6-8 hour sleep period.
As we move through these cycles we experience dreams. The most vivid dreams we experience are in the REM sleep cycle. In REM sleep you will experience frequent bursts of rapid eye movement with occasional muscle twitches, the heart will beat faster, blood pressure rises and breathing becomes shallow and rapid.
As you build the habit of journaling you will find it easy to wake up in between these sleep cycles and record your dreams in your journal. Then go back to sleep and on to the next cycle. Journaling is important because after about 3-4 weeks you will start to notice patterns in your dreams. Maybe you will even have a dream that often repeats it self. This is valuable information for training yourself to wake up within your dreams.
An example of a pattern could be a watch that your grandfather gave you, or your daughter singing you a song or any number of situations or objects that you will see and that reappear regularly in your dreams. It is important when journaling to write down everything thing about your dreams in detail, pictures on the wall, clouds in the sky, the words someone says. Be specific and detailed.
After you have about 50 to 100 dreams logged in your journal these patterns will be clear and it will start to become easy to recognize them when they do.
Nighttime Meditation Rituals
Starting a nighttime ritual is the next step. There are a few techniques here we will use to get you started. With these techniques you can develop a successful lucid dreaming practice. But, for those of you who really want to master this art and get deeper in to the practice make sure to stay tuned to our weekly blog and check out our member portal for lessons and strategies to help expand your practice.
1- The first step in our nighttime ritual is to start by mentally programming yourself to be ready to wake up with in your dreams. You can glance over your journal and acknowledge all of the common dream patterns you experience. Say to your self when I see this pattern I will tell my self I am dreaming and wake up with in my dream.
2- Another strategy is look at your palm before lying in bed and tell yourself I am dreaming do this a few times every night before you fall asleep. So know when you are dreaming you can look at your palm and tell yourself you are dreaming this will strengthen your ability to start having control of your actions within your dreams.
As your control and your ability to have lucid dreams increase you will experience many eye-opening transformations. And have a whole new appreciation for the dream world. Your creative ability and intuition will expand, as your awareness will see new possibilities giving you ongoing inspirations.
If you decide to do this training it will take some time to develop control but it will come. Stay positive and consistent if you do there will be many great realizations to come. For more in-depth sleep and dream training check out The Meditation Mastery Plan and try it out risk free for 30 days.