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Friday, October 8, 2010

Helpful Hint for Insomnia

It's so important to remember that you do build your brain one neuron at a time. If you want to change your life, change your brain. And new ideas do come from a combination of neurons that happen to spark up together because of some learned association that you may not even be aware of. Once you start down a particular road, and are earnest about it, your brain becomes your willing accomplice.

And once you get a good idea, think about it often until it cements itself in your memory banks so that it will be available again when you need it.

Case in point. At my age I wake up several times during the night. Sometimes I have no trouble getting back to sleep, and at other times, I start to think about some project or appointment or problem and then my stress chemicals kick in and I start to toss and turn and I can't get back to sleep.

The other night about 3 am I was deep into some kind of planning and this thought popped up: "Do you want to think or do you want to sleep?" WOW. Talk about a wake-up call out of the blue. Or maybe I should call it a go-to-sleep call. It was just the idea that I needed at that moment. I wasn't even completely aware that I was thinking my night away when I should be sleeping and this thought reminded me that I had a choice.

I immediately thought to myself: of course, it's time to sleep, and I quickly chose one of my simple counting exercises and was soon back to sleep. I thought about that idea quite often during the day until I made it a good strong neural pattern in my brain. Now that thought comes to me to remind me that I have a choice. I don't have to have insomnia. I can choose to sleep instead of think.

It is a pain in the neck to force myself to do the counting exercises because they don't work immediately. It takes from five minutes to half an hour sometimes. But even if it takes me a half hour to get back to sleep I still think its better than taking an Ambien. And the faster I remember that I have a choice whether to think or sleep, the less I get entrenched in thinking, and then the less time it takes for the mind exercises to work. It's a great help, that little reminder:Do you want to think or do you want to sleep?   A. B. Curtiss

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