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Yoga or Ambien?

There is no point in writing endless complaints that people should not get too worked up about lack of sleep. The pharmaceutical companies have convinced too many millions of people that drugs are the answer when we are “suffering” through insomnia. The fact that some people only need a few hours sleep every night is of no importance when profits amounting to billions of dollars are at stake. We are suffering sleep deprivation if we fail to get eight hours. That is a serious medical problem. Take these pills. And yet, there is this thing called yoga. It is one of these mind and body disciplines coming out of the East. It teaches meditation through physical forms, learning to concentrate and free the mind from external distractions. Given that the most common causes of insomnia include anxiety, stress or depression, the use of relaxation and meditation techniques offers a way in which people can center themselves and become more contented. Once people gain some real control over their emotions as expressed through their life force, this can allow the body to find sleep naturally.

Fear of not sleeping often becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. The stress triggers the release of cortisol, one of the hormones associated with the adrenal gland. This wakes up the body at the wrong time and can stimulate the brain into greater activity. Properly directed, yoga can calm the body and mind, making it easier to sleep. If you cannot get to sleep or wake too early, this does not mean getting out of bed to stand on one leg. Obviously, that would complete the waking process. Since yoga is the mind and body working together in shapes and forms to achieve a meditative state, you should either work through some forms just before your usual bedtime and then, when fully relaxed, get straight into bed. Or you should develop physical forms you can comfortably work through while lying down. The idea is to achieve a relaxed mind through breathing exercises and gentle stretching. The perfect form to study is Yoga Nidra in which a deep relaxation akin to sleep is achieved.

In one sense, this use of yoga exploits its underlying emphasis on autosuggestion through which you train your mind to believe in something or to expect certain physical outcomes. Focussing your mind in this way does represent an excellent alternative to the long-term use of sleeping pills like ambien. Modern scientific research accepts the power of the mind to take command of the body and achieve remarkable results. It does not matter whether you are making the cultural adaptation to learn through the repetition of physical movements and forms developed over the centuries as yoga, or you train your mind through the Western practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The aim is the same: to put you in the right frame of mind for sleep to come naturally and to stay for as long as your body needs it. If this proves only to be five or six hours in a night, you have to accept this as perfectly normal. You must not panic and buy ambien online. Simply accept the way in which your body works. Do not try to force it into behavior prescribed by others. You are in command of your body and what it does it right for you.