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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Regarding Insomnia

At a booksigning today I had a long talk with a radiologist who said his wife used mind puzzles for her insomnia and that it was fairly successful. I suggested that the problem with insomnia was that when the body was in the sympathetic mode (alert and ready for action) sleep was impossible. It was only when the body was in the para-sympathetic mode (at rest and relaxed) that sleep was possible. Sometimes the mind games we use to get to sleep are too complicated and in working at the games we are too alert and concentrating on the game and our body stays in the sympathetic mode too long.

I further suggested that I used to count from 1000 down to 1 to get to sleep but that I found it took too much effort and that when I substituted something simpler that simply bored the neocortex with incessant repetition, I did much better. Now I use something really simple like counting only 1-2-3-4 or a fragment of a nursery rhyme like barber, barber shave a pig and it works much faster.

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