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Hush...
Ten bedtime snacks
for the soul
Rubin Naiman, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Arizona C...
We don’t get sleep because
we don’t ‘get’ sleep.
Our definitions of sleep are largely negative, that
is, they tell us what ...
Approaching sleep in a mechanistic
manner will only dampen it’s
pleasure. It’s especially helpful to be
mindful of our lov...
Sleep is the slippery, downhill
side of the day. We cannot
intentionally go to sleep. We can
only slip, slide or fall into...
Our nightstands express our prevailing
beliefs about sleep. If sleep is a nightly
get-away, then the nightstand is the
ove...
Dreaming is critical for learning and
memory. Dreams also play a key role
in the regulation of our feelings and
moods and ...
Any number of psychological,
medical or environmental factors can
draw us back to waking from sleep.
We may be aware of th...
Viewing sleep solely through
our waking world eyes is like
trying to observe darkness by
using a flashlight. Sleep is best
...
Tips for obtaining better sleep
abound. But the common
presumption that we can simply
tinker and tweak our way to
good sle...
9
Children learn more from what they
observe than from what they are told.
They learn basic lessons about sleep
from obser...
If water is a universal symbol of the
unconscious, sleep is the liquid
substrate of our lives. We can sink
into it, yet it...
www.drnaiman.com ~ Hush is available at Amazon.com
HUSH draws on the latest sleep science
to take us deeper, exploring sle...
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HUSH: Ten Bedtime Snacks for the Soul

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A body-mind-spirit approach to sleep and dreams...

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HUSH: Ten Bedtime Snacks for the Soul

  1. 1. Hush... Ten bedtime snacks for the soul Rubin Naiman, PhD Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine Director, Circadian Health Associates Tucson, Arizona
  2. 2. We don’t get sleep because we don’t ‘get’ sleep. Our definitions of sleep are largely negative, that is, they tell us what sleep is not. In the same way we naively think of health as the absence of disease, we think of sleep as the absence of waking or the absence of consciousness. Knowing what sleep is not doesn’t tell us what it is. But “getting” that sleep is a mystery is an essential step toward getting sleep. 1
  3. 3. Approaching sleep in a mechanistic manner will only dampen it’s pleasure. It’s especially helpful to be mindful of our love of sleep before we get into to bed with it. There is no better way of doing this than by establishing a personal pre-sleep ritual. Ordinary bedtime routines can be transformed into enjoyable bedtime rituals simply by enacting them mindfully -- by imbuing a sense of meaning into them. Going to sleep without ritual is like making love without foreplay. 2 Morpheus, the god of dreams
  4. 4. Sleep is the slippery, downhill side of the day. We cannot intentionally go to sleep. We can only slip, slide or fall into it. We slip out of waking and we fall -- which is suggestive of an accident – asleep. Evening rest and relaxation make us accident-prone. From the perspective of waking falling asleep is an accident. 3
  5. 5. Our nightstands express our prevailing beliefs about sleep. If sleep is a nightly get-away, then the nightstand is the overnight bag we carry along with us. Are the items in and around our nightstands conducive to a surrender to sleep? Or, do they tether us to the waking world ? Our nightstands are a clear reflection of our stance toward night. 4
  6. 6. Dreaming is critical for learning and memory. Dreams also play a key role in the regulation of our feelings and moods and in the psychological assimilation of daily life experiences. Dreaming provides an essential poetic cushion for our sharply literal lives. It serves as a palpable nightly reminder that the world is so much bigger than it appears to be by day. In dreams we are privy to a much larger conversation. Dreaming is not optional; it’s an essential part of good sleep and healthy waking. 5
  7. 7. Any number of psychological, medical or environmental factors can draw us back to waking from sleep. We may be aware of these, as is common, for example, with the need to use the bathroom. But often we are unaware of exactly what rouses us. Whatever the cause, we generally assume that what woke us up is also what is keeping us awake. In fact, what typically perpetuates our wakefulness is not what woke us up but our cognitive reaction to it. What wakes us up at night is not what typically keeps us up.6
  8. 8. Viewing sleep solely through our waking world eyes is like trying to observe darkness by using a flashlight. Sleep is best understood by deluminating it, both literally and figuratively. In giving our waking world senses a rest, we step into a nighttime frame of mind or night consciousness. In this shadowy world, we encounter sleep in its natural home. We can never fully understand sleep from a waking world frame of mind. 7
  9. 9. Tips for obtaining better sleep abound. But the common presumption that we can simply tinker and tweak our way to good sleep is misguided. Sleep tips work best in the context of a personal sleep transformation. Healthy sleep requires a shift in our fundamental perspective and basic attitudes. It requires a willingness to meet sleep on its own otherworldly terms. 8 Healing our sleep requires more than a change of behavior; it calls for a change of heart.
  10. 10. 9 Children learn more from what they observe than from what they are told. They learn basic lessons about sleep from observing their parents, family and caregivers. When they see adults valuing, appreciating and enjoying sleep, they will open to similar experiences. When they see adults resisting sleep and overvaluing waking, they will be inclined to do the same. The converse is also true: adults can also be reminded of sleep’s innocent nature by taking a few moments to just watch children sleep. How can we teach our children to sleep well? Through simple demonstration.
  11. 11. If water is a universal symbol of the unconscious, sleep is the liquid substrate of our lives. We can sink into it, yet it supports us. Just as when we were in the womb, we are spiritually amphibious in the sea of sleep. But our willingness to descend into the depths of these waters depends on what we believe we might actually encounter there. Nothing or Nightmares? Dreams or Serenity? Intentionally descending into the sea of sleep with our inner, ‘third eye’ open can help us reflect on this important question. Where do we go when we go to sleep? 10
  12. 12. www.drnaiman.com ~ Hush is available at Amazon.com HUSH draws on the latest sleep science to take us deeper, exploring sleep’s spiritual, sacred, transformative dimensions and guiding us toward the deep, restorative sleep our bodies and our souls need.  -- Arianna Huffington Dr. Rubin Naiman is truly a pioneer in integrative sleep and dream medicine. -- Andrew Weil, MD “Ten bedtime snacks for the soul” was excerpted from Hush: A Book of Bedtime Contemplations

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