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.

Visualization Methods using Sounds

As one who practices visualization almost nightly I can say with certainty that the ability to visualize assists me in my own quest for sleep.  As I have pointed out in other sleep thoughts the human brain's Secondary Visual Cortex is active during both imagining and dreaming. In other words, imagination and dreams share similar brain functions. If you can visualize a relaxing scenario it is much easier to fall asleep then just using a background of looped ocean waves.

Simple visualization methods you can try tonight (or any night for that matter) would be to turn on your radio to some soft music and imagine being in an audience watching the performance live. Really try to visualize subtleties of the performance. Try to 'see' the people next to you, the curtains on the stage and so on. What you are doing is performing a version of sound assisted meditation. This type of mental exercise can lead to a brainwave state called the Theta state. The Theta state is that warm comfy feeling most get right before slipping off into deep Delta sleep. Most of our dreams occur while we are transitioning into or out of the Delta brainwave state. So, our dreams occur at the beginning of sleep and at the end of sleep as well as in some transitional brainwave states throughout the night.


Sounds We Can Visualize

The concept of virtual dreaming is simply to add relaxing sounds in context to sounds we can visualize. So, instead of just ocean waves we are at an Hawaiian Beach Luau and instead of simply wind and rain sounds we are hiking a snow covered mountain... and so on. It is the combination of sounds we find naturally relaxing and sounds we can visualize that stimulates not only Alpha relaxation brainwaves but also the Theta brainwave state. Sleep soon follows.

Being a chronic insomniac it was my own desperate nightly quest for sleep that became the driving force being these new types of audio assisted visualization methods. I am so sure this can work for insomniacs and others with relaxation issues that I can and do guarantee it.

An overview of brainwave states as they relate to sleep can be found here.

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