Sleep has an important role in our lives for maintaining good health. In deep sleep the body activates its healing processes, so that regeneration and repair of the body take place.
If our ability to sleep becomes disturbed, our health and emotional balance are affected resulting in physical fatigue, irritability and increased susceptibility to illness.
Why Do We Develop Sleeping Problems or Sleeping Disorders?
Within our subconscious mind we retain a primitive mechanism to both remember stress, and control our ability to sleep. When we are in balance we send the appropriate instruction to our subconscious, and the sleep mechanism simply takes over. However when this balance is disturbed the result is sleeplessness or insomnia.
The Mechanism For Controlling Sleep
The mechanism which controls sleep is both "reactive" to our desire to sleep and "responsive" to our body's need for sleep. If we send the appropriate instructions to our subconscious mind it will begin to shut down our bodily functions and prepare us for sleep. These instructions can be triggered by the appropriate degree of physical fatigue. If we decide to lie down and close our eyes, then our breathing automatically becomes more relaxed and suddenly the subconscious mechanism takes over and we are asleep. Sometimes, if we remain awake for an extended period of time the sleep mechanism begins to shut down the body because it either senses the need for sleep or has the habit of sleeping at a particular time. In both cases we experience this by the onset of drowsiness or tiredness.
The Mechanism For Controlling Stress
Basically we are aroused by only two sensations, pain and pleasure. We all want to avoid pain and pursue pleasure. The emotional cycle which leads to sleeplessness begins in the present, with our initial experience of pain or pleasure, and ends up with complex feelings which are "remembered" exclusively in the past. If the emotion experienced with "remembered" feelings is sufficiently intense, then sleeplessness, insomnia, sleeping problems will result. This cycle of emotions has been found by psychiatrists to follow this pattern:
- Pain in the present is experienced as hurt
- Pain in the past is remembered as anger,
- Pain in the future is perceived as anxiety or fear,
- Unexpressed anger, redirected against yourself and held within, is experienced as guilt,
- The depletion of energy that occurs when anger is redirected inward creates depression.
Accordingly, intense emotion expressed as anger, anxiety, fear, guilt or depression is enough to disturb the mechanism for controlling sleep, resulting in sleeplessness and sleep disorders. Insomnia can invariably be traced back to either a sudden emotional trauma or sustained emotional stress.
Let's consider an example: A businessman is engaged in a demanding project, in which he encounters problems. He spends long hours working on the project. The intense emotional stress generated by the need to have the project completed by the deadline is recorded by the body and is expressed as continuous worry and anxiety. The anxiety and worry intensify as the deadline approaches. The body mechanism controlling sleep becomes disturbed because of the intensity of emotion which is now being experienced, and sleeplessness results.
Often people are treated with drugs, but these medications do not cure the underlying "hurt" that is the true cause of the sleeplessness.
In the , overcoming sleeplessness is dealt with by teaching and practising the following skills:
- The ability to consciously relax and to release stress any time, anywhere,
- The ability to focus your mind
- The ability to neutralise and reprogram hurt memories
- The ability to develop mind/body exercises to overcome depression
- The ability to develop new responses to stressful events
You May Ask "How Effective Are These Techniques?"
How about I let some of my seminar participants explain that to you?
I received your pack of "Piece of Mind" book and two tapes in October 1995. If you had told me I could instantly gain noticeable improvement in one day I would not have believed you. I must also be a left-brained sceptic. I have been wallowing in despair for six years. I've read many self-help books and I could not rid myself of that constant feeling of dread, nor could I sleep at night. It took Sandy MacGregor to show me how to help myself. Since using the techniques I have now slept 7 to 8 hours every night. I've had interruptions to my sleep, e.g.. late night 'phone calls, storms with thunder and lightning and still have been able to return to sleep easily.
Furthermore, I have just returned from Canada and USA. In years gone by I have needed to take a Rohypnol sleeping tablet on these journeys. This time I slept for 7 hours during the flight over, and on the way back, with no drugs.
So What is the Next Action Step that You Can Take?
CALM makes suggestions on how you can develop your skills in dealing with Overcoming Grief and Loss using Sandy MacGregor's low cost Tapes, Books, CDs, Videos and Seminars which have been utilised by thousands of people successfully since 1990.