Tag Archives: Sleeplessness

Gibberish

 Long ago there lived a Sufi mystic, called Jabbar. He never spoke anything meaningful, but always talked gibberish. When people asked him something, he would just make some sound that didn’t make any sense. Initially people took him to be insane. But slowly they figured out that there was a great sense of peace in his presence and he had a very large following. And throughout his life, he never spoke anything that made sense…

We all have a compulsive need to keep talking – to make sense, to convey, to be right etc. What happens if we drop all these and just start talking whatever came to our mind? This is a form of meditation and is called the Gibberish meditation (This was popularized by the Indian philosopher, Osho). This is how the meditation is done.

Just start talking loud. There are two conditions. One is not to talk in any language that you know already and the other is to keep talking continuously without pauses. You could even make noises if that’s convenient to you. But just be spontaneous and keep making the noises without any gaps. After a while, just lie down and relax. You will be completely at peace. You will experience the state called ‘no mind’.

Many a times in our lives, we get caught up in compulsive thinking. When we get stuck with some serious problems, the mind clings to it so hard that it’s almost impossible to stop thinking. This is very prominent when people become stressed. Not only that it prevents you from getting to sleep, but many a times it happens that you wake up in the middle of the night and start thinking. Gibberish meditation is extremely handy to free your mind from this compulsive thinking. Just before you go to bed, practice it for some time and then go to bed. You will have a very sound sleep.

Perhaps, the more you don’t try to make sense of anything, the more peaceful you are. As they say, ignorance may be bliss.

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Sleep like a baby

One of our coffee time conversations last week was about sleep. My colleague told me that she was having disturbed sleep these days that makes her drowsy during the day. I suggested her some techniques to for getting a sound sleep. Then it occurred to me that there could be many who would actually benefit from this and hence this post. A sound sleep for me is very important, without which my cognitive abilities do not function properly. A good sleep is also important for a good memory because the data transfer from the temporary memory to the permanent memory is done during sleep (this is called memory consolidation and that’s the reason why people under the influence of alcohol do not remember what happened on the previous night. An alcohol induced sleep is of poor quality and hence the memory transfer does not take place).

Here is a brilliant technique that I have come across for getting a sound sleep. This is practiced by the ancient sages in India and suits people who lead a very stressful existence.

When you retire to bed, lie on your back, relax you body and close your eyes. Now trace all the events of the day backwards from the point of closing your eyes. Just watch yourself going through the activities in the reverse order. Recollect as much of detail as you can including what was going on in your mind. Continue this till the point of waking up in the morning (most of us won’t make it past the evening, we would already be asleep)

Try this. You will sleep like a baby.

This is not a technique to get a good sleep alone. The real purpose is to remove the subconscious impressions in the mind that are caused by the days activities. After few days of practicing this, you will find your mind very lighter. So if you have lots of emotional stress in your life, you know what to do.

Tips for a good nights’ sleep

There is nothing like a good sleep. In my post on brain, I had mentioned how important it ‘s from the point of  memory consolidation.

But some of us have problems with our sleep. I have faced three types of issues with sleep. Let me describe them and the fixes I have found:

  1.  Can’t get sleep easily, you are tossing your self in the bed
  •  This could be because of a stimulation. Doctors advice to avoid exercises, yoga, pranayam, coffee, smoke etc at least 2 hrs prior to going to bed (anything that stimulated you). Also avoid reading things that can excite you; same holds good with TV programs. If for any reason you are excited physically, try the following:
    Lie on your back with hands on either side of the body. Stretch your entire body (start with your toes, then legs, angle, lower leg……..till head) and relax it with a Haaa….. sound. Relax. Repeat three – four times. (it should take about 20-25 seconds for one cycle)You will get a good sleep
  • This could be because there is a thought running in your mind. This could be about a problem you have at work, or some thing wrong you have done ..whatever. You are caught in the trp chewing on the thought. How can you get out ?
    One way is to just listen to the ticking of a clock (brings you to the present moment….)
    A better way to really clear your mind, try this: Sit up and start talking loudly and continuously. The only condition is that don’t use any language that you know. Just go on talking for few minutes. Stop. Observe your mind for a while and go to sleep. You will sleep like a baby.
  • Deep abdominal breathing always helps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaphragmatic_breathing)

2. Can’t maintain the sleep, you wake up in between.

  •  One common situation is that you wake up (mostly in the early mornings 2 – 4 am) and find yourself chewing on a problem that has been bothering you. If this happens, take my word for it, it’s not a good sign. This is a very clear indication that you are getting in to stress. Seek help. Btw, the talking technique above will help you flush your mind
  • The other common issue is a continuously disturbed sleep with lot of dreams (I used to tell my wife, it was as if sleeping in a cinema). I think typically this happens when you disturb your sub conscious mind. Could be that there was an incident that troubled you deeply, or you took a real strong decision or you are trying to change a deep rooted pattern. Normally they don’t stay, just leave them and they will vanish. And normally you don’t feel tired after such a night.
  • Another problems I think is having subtle fears in the mind. Not just fears about job loss or health issues, it could just be in the environment. You might just feel ‘insecure’ at the bottom of your heart.

3. You don’t feel fresh when you wake up in the morning

  • This used to happen to me often when I was a smoker and used to drink. Even if I slept like a log, I would be so lethargic in the morning and this would also pull my mid down. After I have given up alcohol and nicotine , this is a not a problem.
  • But I found some thing interesting. When I started doing some creative stuff (link), I slowly started looking forward to each day. And I wake up pretty early these days feeling fully rested. Therefore to have a great sleep, have a purpose in life and look forward to every new day.

Have a good sleep and a great day ahead!