Counting sheep …. No Deep Sleep!!!

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Remember the days, when you came home after a long exhausting day. You had been driving all day, running errands. All day on your feet, in the evening our body is begging to rest in bed! We really feel we have earned a soundless deep sleep. So we snuggle into the comfort of our tempur pedic bed which has the memory of how to make us cozy, comfortable and sleepy.

Soon the sleep drama starts. We are tossing and turning, as we are not able to fall asleep. Mentally and physically tired, but still not able to fall asleep ? If one took the sleep comfort questionnaire, technically it was a perfect score to be in a slumber mode.

So you try counting sheep or maybe even serenade the sleep Goddess with a variety of tricks and tactics. Finally after a marathon hour of chasing your sleepy eyes, you did fall asleep. It’s never been a perfect life, anyways. As this story has a grumpy Owl, whose night calls disturbs your sleep in the middle of the night!

This inspires us to research on Deep Sleep. What are the stages of sleep?

According to a Mayo Clinic Sleep Specialist:-There are three kinds of sleep.

Non-REM Sleep: Light sleep, Intermediate sleep, Deep sleep. Deep sleep is when our heart rate as well as breathing is extremely slow. So its a no brainer that we want to get to deep sleep stage so our physical body feels well rested.

Even after Deep Sleep, there is another deeper stage of sleep [ REM Sleep] when the body is completely motionless and they call it a “rinsing function”:- clearing  the brain of all the toxins and byproducts in the REM Sleep stage, which re-energizes our entire system.

Interestingly, Deep sleep described by Eastern mystical traditions, describes a similar experience. Our body experiences different states of consciousness:

During the Waking state, our consciousness is in a gross state of awareness.

In the sleep state, our sense organs function at a subtle level, giving physical rest to the body. At we attain deeper levels of consciousness, the awareness becomes extremely subtle. Once we touch the deepest state of consciousness, our body and mind gets recharged in a restorative way. On further exploration of stages of awareness, we understand how meditation helps us get similar benefits both physically and mentally. During Meditation, one is able to touch that deep state of consciousness, without actually going to sleep. After Meditation, Our body and mind feel refreshed as though we have experienced Deep Sleep.

So lets be mindful at night if we are struggling to fall asleep. A simple act of lying in bed and focusing on our breath is a form of meditation. This relaxes our body and mind, and helps us fall asleep and eventually we reach the Deep sleep state. In the morning, we wake up rejuvenated!

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