Getting to sleep and staying there is the cornerstone of health, both physical and psychological. Now we have a new study reported in the NY Times that insomnia can increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes in women. Insomnia is rampant throughout the world, and it is healthy people who are developing it.
What has gone wrong?
It seems that research scientists (pharmaceutical companies, wouldn’t you know) are concentrating exclusively on drugs to put us into a sleep-like state instead of investigating the mental process that prevent us from sleeping. If it is not drugs they want us to take, they tell us about all the things we can do before we close our eyes to improve our chances of going to sleep. And they have a CBT course you can take online or in seminars that cost hundreds of dollars and take weeks if not months. All with marginal results.
Here’s the problem: They do not concentrate on the 5 to 10 minute period of time following when we close our eyes and go to sleep. And yet, that is where insomnia starts.
The time between being awake and being asleep is called “sleep onset” by scientists but also goes by the term “hypnagogia.” This short period of time under normal circumstances can expand into hours if we cannot get our thought processes under control. Sleep onset is complex and has creative, problem-solving and worry elements. These distracting elements of sleep onset can be controlled with a mental process that leads the mind safely through this hypnagogic quagmire and into sleep.
But you can’t just lie there waiting for sleep to come to you. You have to go get it. The method of doing this is presented in In Pursuit of Sleep. It is really easy and doesn’t take much time and costs very little money.