Myths About Quality Sleep
Myth One –You can’t sleep because you are missing something.
Myth Two – There is an expert out there to help you.
Myth Three – It will take you a long time to get restful sleep.
Reality About Quality Sleep
Reality One – You are always connected to an ever-present wellspring of healing that gives you a good night sleep.
Reality Two – The sleep expert is standing in your shoes right here and right now.
Reality Three – It doesn’t take time – you have it right now.
Researchers have now discovered the root cause of your sleeplessness – the Identity System (Nakamura, 2011) or as we call it – the Mind Cloud. We all have a Mind Cloud. It’s either active or resting. It’s active when your mind is cluttered with spinning thoughts, your body is tense, and you have trouble sleeping. The Mind Cloud causes you to falsely identify with the contents of the spinning thoughts and the resulting physical distress. This in turn disrupts your otherwise natural ability to sleep. With your mind cluttered with thoughts, you are trapped and can’t sleep!
Mind-Body Bridging is an evidenced-based clinical technique that teaches you to rest and quiet down thoughts, helping you escape from poor sleep patterns. Using both your mind and body, a Bridge is created from a state of sleeplessness (an overactive Mind Cloud) to a healthy sleep (a resting and clear Mind Cloud).
Recognizing Your Mind Cloud
Try the following exercise to recognize what interferes with your sleep:
1. Take a minute to mull over a problem you’re having when you can’t sleep.
2. Scan your body for tension. If you find body tension, it is a sign your Mind Cloud is active.
Clearing Your Mind Cloud
This next exercise helps you start to sleep better:
1. “Come to Your Senses.” Seat yourself comfortable, listen to the background sounds, experience the pressure on your seat, feel your feet on the floor and feel the mouse in your hand. If you have thoughts, gently return to the backgrounds sounds and your senses. Take your time.
2. Once you feel settled, start mulling over your problem again while listening to the background noise in your environment. As you continue, note what is happening to the body tension. A reduction of body tension means that your Mind Cloud is clearing and you have learned a major tool; using your senses to sleep better tonight.
Clear Mind Cloud = Quality Sleep
Mind-Body Bridging helps you sleep better. Whenever your Mind Cloud is active, your body signals to you with palpable tension. When you heed that signal of mind-body disharmony, and use your senses to rest your Mind Cloud, you sleep better. When you go to bed tonight, remember the busy head does not settle the busy head. Listen to the background sounds and even rub your fingers on the sheet. You are now on your way to better sleep.
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Block, S. H., and C. B. Block. 2007. Come to Your Senses: Demystifying the Mind-Body Connection. 2nd ed. New York: Atria Books/Beyond Words, Publishing.
Block, S. H., and C. B. Block. 2010. Mind-Body Workbook for PTSD: A 10-Week Program for Healing After Trauma. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.
Block, S. H., Block, C. B., with A. A. Peters. Forthcoming November, 2012. Mind-Body Workbook for Stress: Effective Tools for Lifelong Stress Reduction and Crisis Management. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.
Nakamura, Y., D. L. Lipschitz, R. Landward, R. Kuhn, and G. West. 2011. Two sessions of sleep focused mind-body bridging improve self-reported symptoms of sleep and PTSD in veterans: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of Psychosomatic Research.70(4):335-345