Absorbing Your Life…While You Sleep
ABSORBING YOUR LIFE
So, let’s pretend someone told you to not eat. Would you do it? Well, sleep is just as important as food. The world is gradually recognizing the importance of clean foods, but when it comes to sleep, we’re kinda conditioned to believe that the only thing that matters is that you just wake up!
This is the second installment of three posts on the importance of sleep in the day-to-day creation of your life. (You can read Week #1 here.)
You know, approximately 40% of people lie awake at night because of stress. Forty percent!! This is a big problem, and it can be very hard on you.
There are 5 stages of sleep – Light Sleep (Stages 1 and 2), Deep Sleep (Stages 3 and 4), and then REM Sleep.
During the deep sleep stages, our bodies detoxify and tissue repair occurs; and in kids, essential growth hormones are released during this stage.
The fifth stage – the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase – makes up about one-quarter of our night’s sleep. It’s also referred to as “restful sleep”.
REM sleep is the time when your brain processes your life – your daily thoughts, your memories, your trauma. It helps you regulate emotions, particularly your fears.
In fact, REM sleep is believed to play a significant role in stabilizing your reactions to negative stimuli…. In other words, REM sleep reduces negative emotions. And, we ALL want that, right?
Sleeping pills generally allow you to reach only the light sleep stages. Given how critical the REM and deep sleep stages are to your physical well-being, it’s so important that you see these sleep aids for what they really are: a very temporary fix.
Performance: Your Life
Lack of REM sleep has been shown to impair our ability to learn complex tasks. In fact, people tend to spend more time than usual in REM sleep following days when they have been required to learn many new tasks…..basically, they have an increased demand on their brain to assemble information, and REM sleep is there to save the day!
Now, if that’s the case, then what about your daily life? We all are searching for meaning in this life each and EVERY day. REM sleep doesn’t just help you with that new job you’re training for or that test you’re studying for… REM and deep sleep are essential to ASSEMBLING your life!
Here’s the thing: if you don’t get your deep sleep and REM sleep, you’re probably not going to die! So, it’s human nature to just tolerate the discomfort.
But, that’s not what we are here for! We all have a purpose. EVERY day counts. We must create our lives on a daily basis. We all have hopes and dreams. Working toward them requires that we metabolize our experiences and observations in order to estimate our next action based on that feedback. If you cut off your brain’s ability to consolidate that feedback, aren’t you just slowly building a skyscraper founded on loose sand?
So, if you ignore the needs of your physical self, before you know it, a month becomes a year… and so on. Creating a good life is an incremental process … the result of your very own intimate daily interactions with the world. But remember: the creation of an unfulfilling life requires exactly the same process – only in reverse…. It, too, is an incremental process where all those days add up to big, bad outcomes.
Our own – not someone else’s – gut feelings can be the most powerful provider of the very best solution. Just as in meditation, we believe that when you sleep, the silence allows you to hear your soul knocking on the door. It wants to let you know that there is a gap between where you are and where your Inner-Champion knows you should be.
We believe in empowering YOU in order to find your path. Recognize that “gut feeling” that YOU have can be powerful in estimating what you need to do next. You simply cannot effectively access your gut if you are not properly taking in the data that you collect each day.
What I have discussed so far applies to conditions where you are not feeling extreme overwhelm. If you’re lying awake at night, it is NOT a small problem. Even if you are accessing REM sleep, you may still be waking up stressed. This overwhelmed feeling is typically caused by rumination. Rumination results in a repetitive focus on your problems instead of your potential solutions. This is very hard on you and it is one of the most fundamental life challenges. So many of us become overwhelmed when we allow our mental bandwidth to be occupied TOTALLY by a problem without taking a stab at potential solutions. This is a BIG life-skill that I will address in future posts. For now, if you’re experiencing difficulty sleeping due to overwhelming stress or depression, and you’d like to make a change, hit reply to this email and I will follow-up with you.
To all of you, know that I am sending you all of my love.
Next week, I am going to jump straight into my incredibly POWER-PACKED sleep solutions that will help put your mind at ease.