Tag Archives: Insomnia

Dream Catching

When we lose out on sleep we lose out on dreaming, too. This is a situation worth remedying.

Science tells us that REM sleep, when most dreams take place, helps with problem solving, emotional regulation, and much more. In addition, the practice of doing dreamwork, including dream analysis and sharing dreams with a counselor or loved one, has been shown to improve relationships, heal post-traumatic stress disorder, reduce stress, and amp up creativity.

To encourage dream-filled sleep and to use your dreams as a resource for increased happiness and meaning in your life, consider these suggestions.

Night notes: Keep your journal by your bedside, and before you turn out the lights write about the highlights of the day that just passed. This helps clear your mind so you can sleep and dream better. When you wake, reach for the journal again and jot down your dreams. Recording dreams helps to increase dream recall, and helps you pay attention to the messages and information contained within your dreams.
Dream time: When you wake, before you move or speak, take a moment to reflect on any dreams you might have had. There’s no need to analyze or even understand them; simply review them as you would look back on an eventful day. Scan them for any information that might give you a new perspective — that might startle, amuse, entertain, or inform you.
Dream sharing: Make it a practice to ask your bed partner or family members about their dreams. Again, there’s no need to analyze or even interpret the dreams. Simply by taking an interest in your dreams and those of your loved ones, you are inviting new opportunities to deepen your connections. As an added bonus, the process of talking out dreams sometimes sparks surprising insights.

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Want to learn more about your dreams? Contact me to find out about upcoming dream groups in western Massachusetts, or individual dream sessions by phone, Skype, or in person.

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Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science Confirm The Healing Power of Dreams

“An unremembered dream is like an unopened letter from God.”

The average person dreams from four to seven times every night. That means that by the age of 80, they will have had between 116,800 and 204,400 dreams. However, most people are confused and mystified by their dreams, and as a result they largely ignore them. When asked why they don’t pay attention to their dreams, many say dreams are too complicated to understand, or that most of their dreams are nonsensical at best and disturbing at worst.

But while dreams may have fallen out of favor in modern Western cultures, people around the world have long known that dreams can help them in down-to-earth, practical matters. In fact, an ancient quote posits that, “An unremembered dream is like an unopened letter from God.”

This traditional wisdom, is now backed by scientific research. Dreams have been shown to help with everything from emotional regulation to increased creativity. And studies show that working with dreams in a therapeutic environment can help people gain insight into problems and issues as well as heal from the loss of a loved one, or recurring nightmares caused by trauma.

In addition, dreamwork promotes concrete, positive changes based on deep understanding of the dream. People from all walks of life, from artists to scientists, have credited dreams with major inspirations and breakthroughs. And everyday people regularly receive guidance about physical health, interpersonal relationships, professional problems, and more through working with their dreams.

As a Certified Dream Therapist and as an individual who has benefited greatly from my dreams for years, I am passionate about helping others learn to listen to and understand their dreams. Toward that end, I am offering discounted dreamwork sessions (in person, by phone or Skype) all summer long, as well as a new ongoing “Listening to Dreams” workshop series that begins on Aug. 20th. For information on individual dreamwork consultations or workshops, please visit me at CLINIC Alternative Medicines or view my web site http://www.thirdhousemoon.com.

 

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Sleep, Dream, & Live Better

Snuggle up & snooze

for improved creativity, problem solving, health and more

Light pollution, insomnia, fear of the dark: It seems the world today conspires against getting a good night’s sleep and a reaping a healthy dream harvest. More than 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia, and as nation we are spending over 32 billion dollars a year to address our sleep deficit.

Losing out on sleep means losing out on dreams. And science tells us that REM sleep, when most vivid dreams take place, helps with problem solving, emotional regulation, and much more. In addition, the practice of dreamwork, including dream analysis and sharing dreams with a counselor or loved one, has been shown to improve relationships, heal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reduce stress, and amp up creativity and problem solving.

I started my dream business, Third House Moon, to offer you advice and guidance to help you snuggle in for a good night’s sleep and healing dreams. The techniques and counsel I offer through my dream workshops and individual consultations can help you invite, recall, and learn from your dreams.

Sign up for an upcoming Third House Moon Dream Workshop or individual Dreamwork session to learn more about how your dreams can help you. After all, a good night’s dreams are a natural incentive for enjoying a better night’s sleep.

Contact me for more information or to set up an appointment.

Mark Your Calendar:

  • Saturday March 29: Join me for a Listening to Dreams Workshop at SOUND: A Center for Music, Creative Arts and Mindfulness in Newtown, Connecticut

  • Wednesdays April 2-23: Join me for a Journey on the Page Proprioceptive Writing Workshop (4-session non-credit course) at Holyoke Community College in  Holyoke, Massachusetts.

  • April 6: Join me at The God Garage, a gathering place for the spiritual, but not religious, in New York City.

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Good Evening—Good Dreams (CV)

A good night of dreaming starts with a good night’s sleep. And a good night’s sleep starts with a good evening routine.

"The Bedroom" Van Gogh

Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks to wind down toward dreamtime that help promote a sound sleep:

Z After dinner, have a cup of calming tea. Some of my favorites are Celestial Seasoning’s “Sleepy Time Vanilla,” Chamomile, and my all time favorite: Tulsi Tea–I prefer the Rose flavor, which is billed as being relaxing and magical … what better for dreamtime! But you can also go the more traditional route and get Tulsi for Sleep.

Z I love a late evening snack. Sleep-friendly after-dinner snacks include bananas, low-sugar cereals, milk or kefir (I prefer kefir!), or a turkey sandwich (yup, it’s true, turkey makes you sleepy).

Z We all know we’re supposed to stick to a regular sleep and wake schedule to promote good sleep hygeiene. I don’t know about you, but I find this difficult to accomplish. But here’s a tip that helps me on the nights that I resist getting to bed on time: Don’t hit the snooze button the next morning. That’s just making a bad situation worse. Rather than sleep in, take a 20-30 minute nap in  the afternoon to make up for the sleep you missed. This will help you get caught up without compromising your sleep schedule too much.

Z You suspect it and studies prove it: Being on the computer, the smart phone, iPad, etc. in the evening hours are all compromising your sleep. Even watching TV is bad for sleep. But face it, even though we know the light from our e-readers and other screens is interfering with our sleep, we can’t give them up altogether. So, consider these modifications: If you use an e-reader, don’t use back light feature. For other screens, look into getting a blue light filter, as it’s the blue light that’s been linked to sleep interference. Here is a link to a site that offers other tips and apps to help make your screens more sleep friendly.

Z Meditate in the evening. You can even meditate in bed if you wake in the middle of the night. Not only does meditation relax you, it increases your chances of having lucid dreams.

Z Wind down with a few yoga stretches. Legs up the wall pose, plow pose, and easy forward bend are a few good choices. Here’s a link that gives more information on helpful yoga poses for enhancing sleep.

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Do you have a favorite relaxing tea, ritual, or routine? Share, please! After all, we could all use a better night’s sleep!

Boston Moonlight

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If you’d like to learn more about your dreams, schedule an appointment for dreamwork, purchase a dream journal, or buy a dreamwork gift certificate, visit me at Third House Moon.

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Corner View is a weekly appointment each Wednesday, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. This week’s theme is evening. Start here to visit more Corner View blogs.

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Counting Sheep is Just The Beginning

Tricks and Tips for Falling Asleep

Sheep

Sheep (Photo credit: James Good)

When you have trouble falling asleep, do you count sheep?

It turns out, barnyard critters are only the beginning. People are quite creative when it comes to trying to entice their minds to turn away from daily concerns and toward dreams.

Here are some helpful tricks for lulling the mind to sleep that friends and clients have shared with me:

  1. Count backwards from 100.
  2. Mentally recite a poem they memorized.
  3. Name the members of their grade school classmates…pick a year and picture each child in order, row by row as if seeing them seated in the classroom.
  4. Name all the regular characters in their favorite TV show in alphabetical order, returning to A whenever they slip up. (“Downton Abbey” in this case … Yes, I admit it, this one is from my repertoire :))
  5. List all the members of a favorite baseball team and their outfield position.
  6. Mentally drive a familiar route (i.e. from home to work), going at a slow steady pace to see every detail.
  7. Starting with getting into bed, work backwards through your day listing each activity from brushing ones teeth before bed, to turning off the TV … etc.

What about you? What do you do when you are lying in bed, trying to fall asleep?

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You can’t dream if you don’t get some sleep! For more information on dreams and sleep visit my website: www.thirdhousemoon.com

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For a Good Night’s Sleep … Be Good to Your Feet (CV)

To get a good harvest of dreams … you must first get some sleep.

Pampering your feet can help.

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Try giving your feet, ankles, and calves a gentle massage just before bed.

IMG_2479Use moisturizer or massage oil to really soothe your soles (and your soul).

Then put on a pair of comfy socks, and cuddle up for a good night of zzz’s

And if you’re lucky, you’ll have a good night of dreams, too!

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Why does a foot massage help you sleep better?

Grounding your energy in your feet at night helps to ensure that you’ll drop your attention downward and away from your mind, where busy, troublesome, or nagging thoughts can keep you awake.

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For more information on sleep and dreaming, or for a dream consultation, contact me at www.thirdhousemoon.com.

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Today’s blog entry is inspired by Corner View, a weekly appointment – each Wednesday – where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. For more Corner View blogs about feet, step right over here to get started.

 

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Insommnia – gift to the dreamer

rising moon

Image by AlicePopkorn via Flickr

It used to be that when I couldn’t sleep, I’d lie in bed and feel the anxiety building in my chest. I’d worry about not sleeping, I’d worry about how tired I’d be in the morning, I’d count backwards or try to remember the names of everyone in my first grade classroom, all in a desperate – and usually unsuccessful — attempt to fall asleep again.

Now, when I wake at 3 or 4 a.m. and can’t fall back asleep, I think, oh good, the perfect time to meditate.

Most people can’t find time to meditate during their busy days. Even 20 minutes seems elusive when you have work, family obligations, a home to care for, and so on. But at 4 a.m., there’s nothing on the calendar, no phones ringing, the laptop is sleeping even if you can’t. So why not meditate?

Monks and mystics intentionally wake up at these early morning hours because this pre-dawn period, when the rest of the world is slumbering, is ideal for achieving inner quiet and stillness.

You can sit up in bed and meditate or meditate lying down on your back (think savasana if you’ve ever taken a yoga class). There are lots of techniques to use. But since to day is day 1 of Deepak Chopra’s meditation challenge (which, by the way, I plan to participate in), I’ll start by directing you to a Dream Meditation that the Chopra Center recommends. This is a meditation in which you replay your day, condensing all of your activities from waking to going to bed into a 5-minute ‘film’ that you project onto your mind’s eye and watch as an objective observer. Listen to the podcast for details.

I find meditating in the middle of the night, during bouts of sleeplessness, will often lead into clear, and sometimes even lucid or luminous dreams. And surprisingly, I wake refreshed despite the small number of hours I’ve logged in sleep.

So, next time you wake and can’t fall right back into sleep, thank your insomnia and start your new mediation practice!

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Insomnia

A small crowd gathers at the foot of her bed.
She watches as they grow restless,
Shift their weightless weight, cross their arms, complain amongst themselves about her stubborn resistance.
When will she close her eyes? Let her spirit free? So they can take her, dreaming
With them.

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