As I’ve endeavored to face fears and follow my heart, I’ve spent some dark hours awake and alone in the middle of the night in various states of anxiety and acceptance.
It’s natural to want to “cure” insomnia as quickly as possible, since a restful night’s sleep is right up there with air, water, shelter, and food on the list of fundamental human needs. Bedtime routines and sleep hygiene can help, as well as listening to a calming meditation before bed. The Internet offers many suggestions and resources. Alternatively, there are a wide variety of pills available.
Of the various over-the-counter remedies such as melatonin, Advil-PM, and Valerian, melatonin has given the best results for me. Because it’s non-habit forming, unlike most prescription sleep aids, I don’t worry about the side effects. Yoga Nidra recordings have also been a go-to aid to relax me back to sleep.
But at a certain point my sleep aids failed to work, and this pushed me to look for a deeper self-healing approach.
Turning to Intuition
In dealing with insomnia, I’ve had to accept how strong my fears can be and how supremely gentle, compassionate, and creative my approach must be in uncovering them.
After raging against the symptom and not making progress, I finally got to a place where surrender became the only option. With surrender, my perspective changed—I found gratitude for my symptoms, and a new level of humility. It became apparent that having this experience was necessary to inspire me to change.
At the suggestion of a trusted practitioner, I decided to practice what I preach: see my insomnia as a mirror, turn on the receptivity of my intuitive self, and listen and learn.
Here are the suggested intuitive practice steps that I have found helpful.
Steps for Intuitive Practice
1. Accept and Surrender
4. Notice and Write
When you wake up in the night, pay attention to what is in your awareness. Collect this awareness in a semi-waking state, then sit up and write down what you noticed. For example,
Set aside time during the day to review your notes. In your waking state write your impressions in the blank space after each entry. Here are some tips to make this meaningful:
6. See Patterns/Make Choices
I’m grateful to say that implementing this approach has improved my sleep and provided healing insight in my waking life. Although there may still be some wakeful nights, I no longer go to bed with anxiety about insomnia. I’ve come to appreciate the opportunity to walk through the doorway of my inner awareness when it opens, even when it looks dark.
May you sleep and dream well.
Chinese Five Element Time Table