In western culture, the aphorism “More is better” is applied to just about everything. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a healthy something or an addictive something.
If exercise is good, more exercise is better.
If yoga is good, more yoga is better.
If eating nuts is good for you, eating more nuts must be better.
If you love fishing or golf, more fishing or golf would feel better.
If drinking one glass of wine is good, two must be better.
If meditating is good, more meditating must be better.
If sleep is good for you, more sleep must be better.
If sleeping too much is bad for you, then sleeping less must be better.
If fasting is good, then more fasting should be better.
If going to church is good, then going to church more is better.
What about just doing nothing? What about just sitting down with no agenda, no plan, no food, no TV, no internet? Not even meditating. Just–ahhhhhhh, nowhere to go, nothing to do right now in this moment.
Hmmm. Can’t do nothing because doing nothing is something to do?
How many successful people have you heard about who burned up their adrenals by skipping breakfast and running off to work? Worked like mad all day, ran off to a workout, wolfed down some healthy fast food, tucked a little one into bed, hurried to do email and collapsed into bed day after day, month after month, year after year. Nice paycheck, nice house, burned out adrenals, trouble sleeping, future serious health problems.
Part of the reason we have trouble sleeping is because we are always trying to do more. It’s almost as if multi-tasking has become something we worship. When we go to bed, we are thinking about doing something else or something we didn’t get done. When we wake up, we are thinking about what we will do that day or next week or what we didn’t do yesterday. When we wake up in the middle of the night for any reason, we ask ourselves if it’s time to get the day going and begin to wind ourselves up all over again.
You can try all you want to fall asleep. As every insomniac knows, the harder you try, the harder it is to fall asleep. That’s because no amount of willpower can make you sleep. The only way to fall asleep is to let go of trying. Sure, you can take Ambien, Lunesta, valerian, or passion flower, but most people will find a diminishing effect in time. Your mind is stronger than all those drugs and supplements.
If you’re the kind of person who turns doing nothing into something to do, you may also be the kind of person who finally falls asleep only after giving up trying really really hard…..because sleep simply cannot happen as long as you are trying….It happens when you let go of trying.
Sleep is Mother Nature’s way of saying that right now, “Everything is okay. There is nothing to do.”
Sleep well tonight.