Sleep is of paramount importance for our well-being, however; many will live life without the experience of proper rest.
There are the classic “tips,” like going to bed early, or disconnecting from computers, phones and TV a couple hours before sleeping, or even not to eat too late, etc. Those are “good” tips for most individuals (especially to shut down electronic devices.) Many will take a pill to snooze fast and will go along with the consequences of secondary effects. Nevertheless, there are suggestions that may be needed for other types of people.
In my years as a “seeker,” I used to wake up before 4 am to meditate for 45 minutes every morning. This practice has great benefits if and only if, we get a good sleep the night before. This reduced my sleeping time from 8 hours to 6 or less. I used to take a nap in the afternoon as well but, there were times when I was very tired from lack of sleep.
Even though our society considers that 8 hours of sleep is needed to recover properly, there are different sleeping needs as there are humans. Those needs will change in everyone, as we age in Life.
Sleeping is not a matter of quantity, but on how profound we let go of that which we call “I.” That is not “quality” but depth. “Sleeping like a baby,” happens when we become babies.
When we dissolve that consciousness of “I” with its perceived problems, and allow ourselves to disappear into the Totality, we will sleep very well, profound, even if for 3 hours.
As we become more sensible to other energies surrounding our environment, we may be susceptible to noises at the gross level or to energies around our bedroom, at the subtle level.
If there are noises caused outside and there is nothing we could do to stop it, we could integrate with that rather than reject it. If we reject, we will trigger heightened emotionality inside us. Our mind will go on with insults, complaints, ways to get even, etc. That will produce in turn, wakefulness of the “I.” An empty mind is helpful to avoid heightened emotionality.
Integration is not a “practice.” Animals will do it naturally in their environment despite their very sensitive senses. They are able to rest.
At the subtle level, there are many energies around our bedroom. Those energies sometimes interfere with proper sleep. For instance, sex is energy and there are subtle entities feeding on that as there is a continuous interchange with the environment. Also, if the bedroom is used for anything else but to sleep and to have sex with a loved one; then this “sacred” space is polluted at the subtle level and we will have difficulties to fall sleep. One way of cleaning is through the use of harmonious sounds. I use a “Tibetan singing bowl.”
This sound needs to be applied in all 4 corners of the bedroom (subtle energies prefer to dwell in the corners,) from the floor to the ceiling. Standing, hold the bowl and then bend over near the floor to play the bowl with the mallet and as the sound starts, raise the bowl as high as you can go towards the ceiling. This “practice” has worked for me very well. Here is an easy one to try: Change your position in your bed. Place your head where normally your feet are located for a couple of days. This is another practice that has worked for me.
The art of sleeping well, requires from us to let go of our personality. Many individuals fearing death may have a hard time sleeping well, for the “I” fears to lose control of its own existence.
Crowded cities present a sleeping problem. Buildings and apartment complexes are too close together and subtle energies do not know about limiting walls. Many times, it may not be “us” but others.
As we get closer to Nature and its rhythms, then balance reappears.