Let´s face it. We all have had trouble falling asleep at some point in our lives. There are nights were no matter how hard you close your eyes and try to relax… that sweet unconsciousness just won´t come. Sleeping pills, NyQuil, alcohol, drugs… nothing is ever ¨too much¨for those who have trouble falling asleep.
Accoding to National Sleep Foundation‘s 2002 Sleep in America poll:
- The last decades have seen an alarming rise in the number of reported insomnia cases.
- 58% of adults in the U.S. experience symptoms of insomnia a few nights a week or more.
- Of these adults, 6% suffer from primary insomnia.
Is taking medicine/drugs the only solution to falling asleep? Thankfully, no. There is also a simpler, natural way of falling a sleep for those suffering the unpleasant symptons of insomnia. It´s called the ¨paradox intention¨. So if either you or someone you know is having trouble falling asleep here´s how the ¨Paradox Intention¨ can help.
When one´s intention of falling asleep is too intense, then obtaining it becomes nearly impossible. While ironic, if you close your eyes and only think about sleeping then falling asleep actually becomes harder. This phenomenon is known as ¨hypertension¨. Hypertension is the mental paralysis that comes as a result of placing excessive attention on obtaining something. (sleep, sexual orgasm, confidence…)
So what is the ¨Paradox Intention¨ and how can it help me get some sleep?
Simply put – When you close your eyes, instead of thinking about sleep, think about trying to stay awake.
Is it really that simple?
Yep, it has always worked for me.
Here is how the ¨Paradox Intention¨ works
- Fear of insomnia produces hypertension.
- Hypertension makes it difficult for a person to fall asleep.
- By thinking the exact opposite (staying awake) one eliminates this hypertension.
- No hypertension = sleep.
Note: thinking of staying awake, doesn´t mean obssesing over it either… as this is also counterproductive. Just close eyes, relax and intermingle thoughts of trying to stay awake with everyday household scenes. Trust me, sleep will come knocking at your door… FAST.
¨Paradox Intention¨ is concept developed by Victor Frankl in his world-renowed book Man´s Search for Meaning. Special thanks and credit to this great philosopher, psicologist, neurologist, humanist, holocaust survivor whose wisdom has truly inspired me. Expect an entry about his work in the near future.
Till next the post,
Have a pleasant sleep!