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New Methods of Fighting Insomnia

New Methods of Fighting Insomnia

As someone who occasionally suffers from insomnia, my interest was piqued by this article in Elephant Journal. The article explains a study that suggests that shutting down a region of the brain called the Default Mode Network (DMN) could be the key to getting a good night’s sleep.

The DMN is largely responsible for our internal chatter and meandering thoughts. When we are not consciously thinking of meaningful things, the DMN goes on autopilot and continues to produce less meaningful thoughts.

I am curious what the evolutionary purpose of the DMN might be. It would be much easier to be in the moment and to be fully aware of our surroundings without it. The ability to be present and enjoy experiences without feeling self-conscious or experiencing a mind that wanders and pulls us away from the moment would be heightened. However, I suppose that is the function of meditation.

The article suggests writing down one’s worries before bed and tuning into a white noise, like the sound of a fan or a CD that plays rainforest sounds. I already turn on a fan when I go to bed, as white noise was suggested to me years ago. It is more difficult for me to fall asleep without it, though I still have trouble even with it turned on. I am certainly willing, though, to try to tune into the noise more fully. I will also write down anything that is worrying me before bed, and I will review my experience next week.

What methods help you fall asleep?

 

Related:
3 Keys to a Better Night’s Sleep
Insomnia Cookies: 25 Tips to Better Sleep
Fight Insomnia Naturally

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.

47 comments

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9:28AM PST on Dec 4, 2012

Thank you

1:42AM PST on Dec 4, 2012

ty

2:02AM PST on Nov 8, 2012

I find this DMN very interesting and I think that meditation should help quiet this part of the brain as well as deep breathing exercises!

6:59AM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

thanks for sharing

6:29PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

noted

12:21PM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

I've suffered with insomnia for nearly 7 years - it all started when my marriage started to fall apart & is now such a deeply entrenched part of my life, that I doubt I'll ever sleep properly again. I've tried EVERYTHING, from the utterly ridiculous to doctor prescribed medication. I either can't fall asleep, I wake up & can't return to sleep, wake early, or all three sometimes, especially when I have to be up for work!
One thing that does help is the white noise. I live in a noisy neighbourhood so I started using a relaxation CD & doing deep breathing. This progressed to soft music & it does help, although I'm not 'cured'. I also use an eye mask & ear plugs & I'd kill to just be able to sleep normally. Long term insomnia really does wreck your life.

11:15AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

11:59PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

TY.

7:35PM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

Melatonin is good,if you combine it with Gaba and L Doba (the natural thingie from Mucuna the plant) for hard cases..
Lighter cases 5 mgms of Melatonin is enough for a good night sleep..the trick is that it needs darkness cause our brain can only produce melatonin during the absolute black of night..so take the pill hydrate and to the bed..
Pasi Flora tea is very strong too..not in sachets,the real deal..with Valerian even better..
And if you are really desperate or just sleepless add 100 mgms of 5-htp to the coctail..
only with empty stomach..
All legit and in the market.

11:30AM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

When I have trouble falling asleep, I often notice it is because my mind seems especially busy with worries and concerns. I have found that yoga and guided meditation help me relax and fall into sleep. I have also read and followed Belleruth Naparstek’s tips for beating insomnia over on her website.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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