I love to read, so I decided to blog about my favorite books to nurture mind, body and soul. I will start with Restful Insomnia, How to Get the Benefits of Sleep Even When You Can’t, by Sondra Kornblatt.
This book has shifted my attitude toward sleep and has helped me transform previously restless nights into peaceful experiences. The premise of this book is that the worst thing about not being able to sleep is the anger and frustration we feel when we watch the clock and toss and turn in bed. Restful Insomnia helps us to appreciate insomnia as a gift we can make use of.
We read so many articles enumerating the catastrophic consequences that will befall us if we don’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night. No wonder we can’t sleep! We are so scared of not sleeping that we often find it impossible to sleep.
In Restful Insomnia, Sondra Kornblatt teaches us how to stop fighting insomnia...to make peace with not sleeping. The result, of course, is a relaxing night, with many of the benefits of sleep...and the added bonus of an increased likelihood of falling asleep.
It can be so frustrating to try to control the things we can’t control. Sleep is one of those things that we really can’t control. We can set the scene and prepare ourselves to make sleep more likely...but we can’t will ourselves to sleep.
So...focusing on what we can control is a much more gratifying solution. We can turn off the lights, lie down, and close our eyes. And when we accept that that is all we need to do...we can relax.
Knornblatt does give many suggestions on how to create the most favorable conditions for sleep, but at the same time, she teaches how to accept and even enjoy the times we are awake at night. She helps us look at sleep from a different perspective….and to appreciate the experience of just resting, reading, being horizontal, breathing, etc.
Many of Kornblatt’s suggestions for inviting sleep involve letting go of the conscious mind and transitioning into the unconscious mind. She shares the wisdom of yoga, mediation, visualization, breathing and other techniques that will help us let go of the conscious mind and become more attuned to our bodies.
When I was a child I would experience passing back and forth through a permeable wall with sleep on one of the wall and wakefulness on the other side. It was so easy to pass back and forth in those days! Sleep wasn’t a goal I would strive for, but rather a pleasant journey. Restful Insomnia helped me learn to re-experience that journey with curiosity and acceptance.