Stanley Block

Stanley H. Block M.D.

Come To Your Senses

Switch Your Brain Into Sleep Mode: On Demand

Good sleep is easier than you think

Posted Aug 22, 2012

Myths About Sleep

Myth One—Missing sleep is okay.

Myth Two—Your financial, work or relationship problems keep you from sleeping.

Myth Three—You can't influence your brain.

Reality About Sleep

Reality One—Sleep Deprivation can kill you sooner than you think.

Reality Two—With all your problems, you have the power to sleep well tonight.

Reality Three—You can quickly and easily put your brain into Sleep Mode on demand.

Your Brain Has a Sleep Mode!

Brain and a light switch

Sleep Mode ON/OFF

In 2006, Wisseman discovered that in addition to the Executive Function Network, which allows us to focus on our daily tasks (work, play and sleep), there is another network, the Default Mode Network, that pulls us away from the task at hand by preoccupying us with inner self-directed talk. In 2008, Boly demonstrated that these two networks have a reciprocal relationship 24/7 (when one is active and in the driver's seat the other is resting). Ho, in 2009 correlated the characteristics of the Brain’s Default Mode Network with the clinical characteristics of the Identity System (I-System). In 2011 and 2012, Nakamura showed that using rapidly effective easy to apply tools (Mind-Body Bridging) to rest the I-System resulted in better quality and quantity sleep. When the I-System rested the brain was automatically switched out of the Default Mode Network and into the Executive Function Network; i.e. into a Sleep Mode. In 2012, Lipschitz in a pilot study demonstrated that in three days use nearly all of the participants using an interactive web version of Mind-Body Bridging (SleepSTAR) improved their quality and quantity of sleep.

Recognize Your Sleep Mode 

Try the following two minute experiential exercise to become familiar with your Sleep Mode. For best results it is best to be seated in a quiet room without distractions such as TV or music.

1. Mull over your number one problem and its possible consequences that keep you up at night.

2. As you continue to mull over the problem, be aware of tensions arising in your body. Locate where it is.

3. Body tension and a mind spinning with thoughts about the problem indicates your I-System, or as we call it Mind Cloud, is overactive.

4. Now, take a minute to listen to the background sounds in your room, sense the pressure of your behind on the chair, feel your feet on the ground and be aware of what your hands are touching. When you feel settled return to mulling over your problem but continue listening to the background sounds. A reduction of body tension and a sense of calmness indicate that you have shifted into your Sleep Mode.

Woman sleeping

Sleep Mode

Switch Your Brain into Sleep Mode Tonight

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 sheets. As your Mind Cloud clears and your body relaxes you are entering your Sleep Mode.

SleepSTAR Logo

To learn more about this clinically proven way to switch your brain into Sleep Mode on demand, click here


Block, S.H., and C.B. Block, 2007. Come To Your Senses: Demystifying the Mind-Body Connection 2nd Edition. Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Publishing.

Block, S. H., S. H. Ho, and Y. Nakamura. 2009. A brain basis for transforming consciousness with Mind-Body Bridging. Paper presented at Toward a Science of Consciousness 2009 conference, June 12, at Hong Kong Polytechnical University, Hong Kong, China, Abstract 93.

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.

Boly, M., C. Phillips, L. Tshibanda, A. Vanhaudenhuyse, M. Schabus, T. T. Dang-Vu, G. Moonen, R. Hustinx, P. Maquet, and S. Laureys. 2008. “Intrinsic brain activity in altered states of consciousness: How conscious is the default mode of brain function?” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1129:119-29.

Lipschitz, D. 2012 A pilot study of an interactive web program shows promise for quickly improving sleep difficulties (in preparation).

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.

Nakamura, Y., D. L. Lipschitz, R. Kuhn, A. Kinney, and G. W. Donaldson. Forthcoming 2012. “Investigating Efficacy of Two Mind-Body Intervention Programs for Managing Sleep Disturbance in Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”

Weissman, D. H., K. C. Roberts, K. M. Visscher, and M.G. Woldorff. 2006. “The Neural Bases of Momentary Lapses in Attention.” Nature Neuroscience 9 (7):971-78.

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