by Helen Williams
One of the most profound impacts of Meditation and Mindfulness practices in my daily life has been a change in sleep and dreams.
I recently heard a radio reporter state that an extremely high number of Dubai residents suffer from sleep deprivation – simply not getting enough sleep every night and suffering hugely from the impact of this on their lives.
As practitioners of Mindfulness will attest, learning to notice thoughts and seeing them as just that, brings about a change in our relationship with our thinking mind. All the ideas, beliefs, notions and ways of seeing time, worry, stress, fear and anxiety begin coming under the microscope of a new way of seeing, and how we think about sleep and sleeping fits in with this.
I held these beliefs for many years; I am not a morning person, I need to sleep later and longer, I cannot go to bed early, I will not sleep if I do, I cannot go back to sleep if I wake.
I was astonished to discover that noticing these thoughts, and opening to a new way of seeing, allowing a new and different perspective, simply showed me that a lot of my ideas about sleep and sleeping were just simply ideas! Just thoughts. I discovered that understanding what is happening while I am sleeping, what needs to happen during sleeping time, and what I just simply wasn’t aware of, could all be held under the microscope of insight, allowing for change and growth.
Mindfulness helps us to change our relationship with our thoughts, and this allows us to examine long held beliefs. Openness for change then follows and many practitioners report that sleeping well is a wonderful by-product of practicing Mindfulness and Meditation.
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