YOGA NIDRA MEDITATION CD RECOMMENDED FOR INSOMNIA
Chicago Tribune writer Julie Deardorff recommends the Yoga Nidra CD
of Swami Jnaneshvara for dealing with insomnia (point #2 of 3 in her
From Chicago Tribune article:
HOW TO SURVIVE INSOMNIA
By Julie Deardorff
March 7, 2007
Working mothers trying to "do it all" have the most serious episodes
of insomnia, while stay-at-home moms are most likely to sleep poorly,
according to the National Sleep Foundation's 2007 Sleep in America
The main culprits are young children, biological changes like
pregnancy and menopause, stress and pets.
I had my first extended bout with insomnia during what should have
been a triumphant period of motherhood: right when my oldest child
started sleeping through the night. Now, with a 3-month old and a
toddler, I don't even try to get sleep. And I don't worry when I
still haven't fallen asleep by 2 a.m. and I've just calculated that
the most sleep I can get is four hours.
Instead, I do damage control the following day.
Exercise is one of the first things to go when women have too much in
their day, the study showed, but I use it for a short-term jolt, like
Normally, I get on the treadmill, do a slow, warm-up mile and then
punish myself for about 15 minutes with either speed or hills. The
only requirement is that I break a sweat. Then I run easy for a cool-
Unfortunately, you'll have to try this at your own risk. When I began
looking at research on this, it showed that exercise can actually
make you feel worse when you're sleep deprived and can be dangerous.
Your coordination goes when you're tired and you actually fall off of
the treadmill. Also, if your body doesn't have time to repair during
sleep, you're more likely to get injured.
Still, it's how I've been able to work full time despite getting up
at least two times a night to nurse. After an intense workout, my
head clears and I can focus and get through the day.
2. Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra means "Yogic Sleep" and it's considered a state of
conscious deep sleep. But it's not meditation, which leaves you in
the waking state of consciousness, says Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati,
who produced the audio CD "Yoga Nidra Meditation CD: Extreme
Relaxation of Conscious Deep Sleep."
Instead, during Yoga Nidra, you "leave the waking state, go past the
dreaming state and enter into deep sleep, all while remaining fully
alert and awake," Bharti says. Reaching this state of awareness is
easier said than done, of course. To this day, I haven't been able to
stay awake through an entire Yoga Nidra CD, which can last between 20
and 60 minutes.
To do it, lie on your back as if in shavasana or corpse pose, with
your eyes closed and your palms facing up. If you've got Bhrarti's
verbal CD--there's no music--he'll tell you to focus your awareness
on 61 points within the body. For example, he'll tell you to bring
your attention to your left hand, your pinky finger, your ring
finger, your middle finger, your index finger and your thumb. The
entire body is scanned in this way until the heart center is reached.
Some swear the process can replace sleep. Others with insomnia use it
to help them relax so they can go to sleep.
The old standby works because it blocks a certain receptor in the
brain that releases a neurotransmitter called adenosine. Adenosine
makes us sleepy and if the release of it is prevented, you won't feel
quite as tired.
The trick is to avoid using caffeine every day. Only people who avoid
it for a while feel a buzz , according to a University of Bristol
study presented to the British Nutrition Foundation Conference.
"We do feel a boost from caffeine in the morning, but that's probably
due to a reversal of the withdrawal symptoms," researcher Peter
Rogers, a biological psychologist told the BBC. "That alertness you
feel is you getting back to normal, rather than to an above normal