virtual dreamer

nextI have written extensively over the years about the process of falling asleep and have sorted my journal into four areas of interest.

The Worst Insomniac I Know

My particular brand of insomnia is bad... really, really bad. I say is, and not was, as I feel like I will always be an insomniac whether or not I am sleeping well at any given time. Something in my brain does not allow for the natural progression to sleep. No doctor, therapist or psychologist has even come close to figuring out what is wrong with my big flawed brain. With the exception of prescribing sleeping pills the medical community has been of ZERO help. I've been to Sleep Labs, had my head X-rayed, had my thyroid checked, quit smoking, tried biofeedback, meditated, exercised regularly, tried relaxation techniques and removed most identifiable stressors out of my life... and yet I still could not fall asleep.

For me falling asleep was akin to collapsing from exhaustion. Some nights I would quite literally stand on my feet to the point of passing out. I would find myself running in place or faux tap dancing to try to get tired. Now, I must admit having Tinnitus (ringing ears) does not help with my insomnia. There were times in my life when I thought my trouble sleeping was 100% caused by the Tinnitus. These days I believe that the Tinnitus is half the problem. I have come to the conclusion that I have a complex. I call it Tinnitus Related Sleep Disorder. If you Google that term you will not find it. It is an orphan disease. My tinnitus combines with an always present hyper-awareness that I have inherited genetically. In other words, my flawed human brain is always set to DEFCON 1 and ready to defend and protect 24/7. Why? I don't know.  Maybe I descended from a long line of palace guards or some Doberman Pinscher genes have made it into my DNA.

Using Relaxing Sounds with Visualization

Seeing as I was on my own with this designer orphan insomnia disease/complex I finally had enough. Years ago I began researching the natural progression of wakefulness to falling asleep. I was surprised to learn about a brainwave state called the Theta state. It is from the Theta brainwave state that we humans jump off to deep sleep and usually into dreams. I discovered that simply by relaxing and visualizing a scene; and combining it with naturally soothing sounds, dreamland would soon come. The key is visualizing. When we visualize we utilize the same part of the brain as when we dream. This part of the big human brain is known as the Secondary Visual Cortex. In a sense we are coaxing our brains into thinking it's already asleep.

By visualizing via the mind's eye; while in a relaxed state, we are building a bridge to falling asleep. It is a simple concept that has worked wonders for me... and I'm the worst insomniac I know.

see also: The Secondary Visual Cortex

Insomnia can be an indication of a serious underlying health condition. Our opinions are in no way intended to be taken as medical advice. If you feel your insomnia issue warrants it please seek the advice of a qualified physician.