10 March 2012

How to Fall Asleep Fast

Falling asleep quickly involves two things: a tired body and a calm mind. Without both of these things, you will not fall asleep! No matter how tired your body is, if your mind is not calm, you will lie awake in your own private hell. Learning how to fall asleep fast requires calming your mind.

Massive problem here. There are a million mind-calming methods out there, from self-hypnosis to meditation to breath work protocols, but rarely do they help the chronic insomniac. Why? Because a cranky little brain region called the Default Mode Network (DMN), responsible for what is commonly known as autopilot thinking, is more powerful than mind management techniques.

Autopilot thinking: Lying in bed with your mind churning endlessly on the problems of the day. Scientists have discovered that the DMN is responsible for this steady stream of thoughts that won’t turn off, according to the March 2010 issue of Scientific American. With the DMN active and creating an ocean of mental commotion, sleep is impossible, no matter how tired your body is.

How to fall asleep fast – the key

The key to how to fall asleep fast, then, is to turn off the DMN. When you do, your mind instantly calms down and your body relaxes. Can this be done? It turns out that it can be done quite simply. In fact, it is so simple to turn off this powerful brain network that medical researches did not believe the results of studies that proved it (Scientific American) Better still, when you do turn it off, you fall asleep quickly.

The key is to find what series of events deactivate the DMN so you can rest.

How to fall asleep fast – the technique

It turns out the key to calming the mind and learning how to fall asleep fast is not an internal process. It is an external process. In other words, you cannot quiet the mind with the noisy mind. You have to go elsewhere! In this case, you need to stop focusing your attention on your inner mind and begin to tune in to where it is calm and quiet – outside the mind. When you do, the DMN disengages (yes, this major brain network actually turns off, as measured by fMRI scans) and you fall asleep.

Here’s the method for how to fall asleep fast:

1. Take a deep breath and choose some mundane external sound to focus on. It could be the sound of a fan, or of distant traffic, the refrigerator motor, the air conditioner – any consistent and mundane sound.

2. Do nothing but tune into that sound. Just listen to it. That is all!

When you engage your attention toward an external, meaningless noise, the brain’s autopilot function turns off. Your mind calms down. You sleep. Try it.

How to fall asleep fast – conclusion

By turning off the part of your brain responsible for creating the inner commotion, noise, tension and mental activity associated with primary insomnia, you can learn how to fall asleep fast. Simple.

If this simple technique does not work for you after some practice, then one of the following may apply:

1. You do not have primary insomnia, but another issue, such as RLS, sleep apnea, etc…

2. You have slightly more complex internal concerns, which requires one level deeper intervention with the DMN.

I will follow up with more information soon!


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