Insomnia

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greggorious
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:40 pm

Insomnia

Post by greggorious » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:36 am

I've had issues with insomnia my whole life, and while meditation can often help with my anxiety issues, I still have real problems with falling asleep. Can anyone offer any suggestions or tips with this? I'd be especially keen to hear of any Buddhist techniques, mantra's etc that might help. I think I once read that Ajahn Chah recommended the mantra 'Buddho' to mentally repeat until you fall asleep.
Would love to hear people's thoughts on this.

May you all be happy, at ease and free from suffering :)

Greg
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Insomnia

Post by Crazy cloud » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:56 am

You have a nice mantra to reside in your own chosen signature, my friend :anjali:
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

SarathW
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Re: Insomnia

Post by SarathW » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:39 am

Why insomnia a problem.
Why do you have to sleep if you are not sleepy?
Isn’t this garde now you have all time to practice?
:anjali:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

santa100
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Re: Insomnia

Post by santa100 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:50 pm

Meditation is great but don't forget some physical exercise, especially outdoor cardios (jogging, biking, hiking, etc.) just 1/2 hr daily would be very effective against insomnia.

markandeya
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Re: Insomnia

Post by markandeya » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:03 pm

Maybe not everything will be in the suttas about these things.

I like the answer that SarathW gave, if your not tired why let it bother you. There is a Zen saying, when tired sleep when hungry eat.

It does seem that anxiety is the root cause.

There are some natural things that you can do, one is soaking the feet in warm water and also massage some oils on the soles of the feet and hands. Everything in the Body, which is same as mind or related completely has endings in the feet and the hand. As a Rule I generally need 4-5 hours sleep a day, it may vary what times I sleep, but I use the soaking feet and massage quite often as this promotes regularity.

Reading something that is calming, not intellectual debates, that can stimulate thought, there are also frequencies on youtube that are said to help promote sleep, but I am not sure f they work as I dont have sleep issues, my issues are when I am awake :thinking:

When I was travelling I very rarely used melatonin which would help with different times zone.

Good luck

With Metta

:anjali:

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Insomnia

Post by salayatananirodha » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:43 am

I've heard various accounts that the buddha only slept two hours at night and would take a nap during the day. Although monks will probably need less sleep than most lay people, it is not the case that we should sleep a certain amount of hours, what is considered necessary by modern standards. I've also had a hard time sleeping, especially putting into practice this sutta: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
If you're feeling anxious and miserable and that is accompanied by lack of sleep then you have a problem, but if you're just not sleeping as much as you think you should, it might be a good thing. :coffee:
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

TRobinson465
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Location: United States

Re: Insomnia

Post by TRobinson465 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:24 am

One thing you could do is do sitting meditation, then lying down meditation until you fall asleep. I myself have had insomnia problems all my life, especially as a child. i have found this helps.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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Bundokji
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Re: Insomnia

Post by Bundokji » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:32 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:39 am
Why insomnia a problem.
Why do you have to sleep if you are not sleepy?
Isn’t this garde now you have all time to practice?
:anjali:
:goodpost:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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DNS
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Re: Insomnia

Post by DNS » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:15 pm

greggorious wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:36 am
I've had issues with insomnia my whole life, and while meditation can often help with my anxiety issues, I still have real problems with falling asleep.
What time of day do you eat your last meal? The Buddha ate one meal a day and this diet is catching on in modern times (one large meal around lunch time), even among non-Buddhists due to foods being poorly metabolized in the evening. Food is basically fuel and if you eat late (not saying you do, just asking), there is all that fuel in your body and it thinks it is time for work or exercise, not sleep.

greggorious
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Re: Insomnia

Post by greggorious » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:14 pm

Thanks for all your replies and suggestions.

May you all be happy, at ease and free from suffering :namaste:
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

Laurens
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Location: Norfolk, England

Re: Insomnia

Post by Laurens » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:28 am

Try to stay awake and keep your eyes wide open all night.

Reverse enthusiasm can be quite powerful for some people
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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_anicca_
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Re: Insomnia

Post by _anicca_ » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:01 pm

Focus on breathing in a relaxing and calming way, relax the entire body, and then focus on the breath until you sleep.

Melatonin is a good dietary supplement you can take long term that induces sleep.
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

:buddha1:

http://vipassanameditation.asia

polo
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Re: Insomnia

Post by polo » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:34 am

Hello, hello, I used to have sleepless nights called insomnia. One day I discovered that I had a rather unwholesome attitude towards sleep.
These are the unwholesome attitude, (1) The unwholesome desire to sleep 8 hours ( listening to rubbish doctors telling you the amount of hours you need to sleep, absolute rubbish - you will discover this rubbish the doctor tells you after the insomnia goes away).
(2)The unwholesome desire to enjoy my sleep. This relentless unwholesome wanting to enjoy a good sleep is self-defeating in every sense of the word. Look at a young child (about 3 to 5 years old) they don't know nothing about enjoying a good sleep, they just sleep when they are tired and when they wake up they got up and not laying in bed trying to enjoy more sleep, their minds have not been corrupted yet by this unwholesome desire.
(3) Trying to count the hours of your sleep will make you anxious that you are not getting enough sleep will start the cycle of insomnia.
(4) If you don't get enough of sleep you will feel tired the next day that's natural and if you relax and not let anxiety overcome you, you will sleep a little earlier the next evening.
(5) In the Abhidharma, it says, "sleep is not for enjoyment it is for your body to rest so you will not be tired or sick". If you have unwholesome desire to enjoy your sleep then you will not be sleeping well"
How much sleep you need is difficult to say. You just sleep and when you wake up you should not try to go back to sleep to enjoy more sleep then you will not have insomnia coming your way.
Other than having some physical illness or pain or worry on financial problems being the reasons that you are not sleeping well, you shouldn't have problem falling asleep.
If you are having late night dinner you wouldn't be waking up early the next day and it will kick start the insomnia problem the next evening because you break the cycle of your sleep pattern. So your gluttony is an accomplice with this insidious sleep thief.
Sleep and foods are not for enjoyment- they are for keeping you alive and healthy.
TOTAL awareness of your unwholesome desire for sleep will make you see the reasons of your insomnia.
Note that no where in my comment did I say you suffer from insomnia because you don't suffer from insomnia, but you do suffer from your unwholesome desire to enjoy a good sleep and your unwholesome desire to sleep more.
Unwholesome desire=suffering. (Insomnia a self created and self-defeating problem)

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pilgrim
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Re: Insomnia

Post by pilgrim » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:01 am

Light meditation (i.e avoiding strong concentrated effort) is useful to rein in the mind from overthinking so that it settles down. But when one is close to sleep, one has to decrease the effort further so that the mind naturally rambles before it slips into unconsciousness. I usually prefer to use body scanning or focusing on the pressure of the body on the bed as I don't want to condition the mind to sleep when I do meditation on breath.

As a side note, I have often practised watching the mind as it falls asleep or when it awakens from sleep. Not that it has any immediate benefits but I find it interesting.

dharmacorps
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Re: Insomnia

Post by dharmacorps » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:11 pm

I have trouble sleeping too sometimes. I do find it is worse when my daily meditation practice is disrupted or shortened. There are a lot of different possible reasons for insomnia though, so it may be something very individual to you. As others have mentioned, you could review your attachments to sleep and expectations there. If you are exhausted during the day and have trouble getting things done, you may want to speak to a doctor to make sure you are OK physically; you may then want to speak to a experienced meditation teacher.

When I have trouble sleeping, I recite (not aloud but mentally) memorized chants or suttas, the longer the better. It acts like a lullaby! If that doesn't work, I follow the breath, not to try to fall asleep but just to do something constructive if I can't sleep.

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