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.

Relaxation Techniques - The Secret to Falling Asleep

Twenty plus years of insomnia* has enlightened me to a thing or two about the condition. It has also informed me about the nature of capitalism. It is not in the medical community's best interest to point out certain simple and undeniable facts that can naturally assist insomniacs in relaxation techniques and getting good night's sleep. This is simply because there is no money in it! There is no money to be had by telling the insomniacs of the world that there exists a little known brainwave state in between the Alpha (relaxation) and the Delta (asleep) brainwave state. It is the Theta brainwave state. The mainstream medical community is much more keen on prescribing sleeping pills then explaining to their patients the reality of sleep.
What are Theta brainwaves, you ask? The Theta brainwave condition occurs directly before deep sleep. Think of it as the big human brain's consciousness escrow account. You are not technically awake nor are you asleep. Your brain wants to be in dreamland but, if abstract thoughts occur, it will immediately jump back into Alpha. The Theta state is the psychic bridge between the feeling of relaxation and falling asleep. When we begin drifting off we are in the Theta state as your brain's neurons begin firing up in your Secondary Visual Cortex. It is in the Secondary Visual Cortex that your dreams occur. One of the first things our brains like to do after falling asleep is dream.

Visualization is the Secret

As it turns out we dream and we imagine in the same area of our brain. Tonight, when you attempt to fall asleep, try something different. Put on some relaxation music... slow jazz or classical, and visualize watching the band play on a stage before you. You might even try visualizing an ice skater performing to the music. If you like talk radio, relax and visualize seeing the people talk. Imagine their faces and what clothes they are wearing. What you are doing is greasing the grooves to deep sleep by stimulating your Secondary Visual Cortex and, therefore, the same area in your occipital lobe that becomes active in dreaming. Visualizing will bring on Theta brainwaves. If you have trouble staying asleep (i.e. you wake up too early) then stay in bed and visualize... anything (preferably something non-threatening).

Pharmaceuticals act as a shunt, bypassing the Theta brainwave state, as our brain shuts down in reverse of the natural sleep process. They (sleeping pills) increase the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in our bodies. This slows down our neuron's communication ability. If our neurons can't communicate then an artificial relaxation condition is induced.

The secret to falling asleep is no secret at all. Remember hearing that you should count sheep to if you have insomnia? I say don't count them but visualize them; or anything else for that matter, and you will soon feel a sensation of deep relaxation and fall asleep naturally. One hint: be comfortably creative in your visualizations and you might be amazed at the dreams you dream.

The Reality of Noise

Because of what I do some might think I live in a utopian world of waterfalls and ocean waves. This could not be farther from the truth. Noise pollution is everywhere, including my world.  Unless one lives far from civilization they are probably living with noise pollution. I live on a small mountain many miles from a medium sized city. Just for the fun of it (and, oh, what fun it was) I recorded the ambient sounds from my backyard:

As you can hear, I too live 'in the noise'. There is so much noise out there that many of us do not listen to it anymore.... it's just there. Always.


*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.

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