No More Insomnia: Discover Skilful Resting

The breakthrough alternative to trying to make yourself sleep


I used to be an Insomniac. That was who I was, well and truly enmeshed in the persona of an Insomniac. How could it be any other way? For ten years I had been suffering from bouts of severe insomnia. There was no way out, it had me trapped.

But not now. I had a lightbulb moment. Yes really, an instant realisation … I decided not to have insomnia. Just like that! I changed my whole way of thinking about sleep. I thought: If I’m awake, so what, who cares! I can’t be bothered with all this boring negative stuff. I’m ditching it for good. No more insomnia. I stopped creating it … and instead created skilful resting.

Insomnia is when you think you can make yourself sleep or you think someone else can. So, you keep on trying and trying … to sleep. And, of course, it doesn’t work. You just give yourself insomnia. You have in fact created insomnia for yourself. Not exactly what you intended!

This is what I used to do. It seems so obvious to me now. Of course, I can’t make myself sleep. All I have to do instead is to rest. Rest and leave sleep to my body. What bliss! My body will take care of sleep for me, so I don’t have to worry about it at all. Why did I never realise that before?

I realise it now, because it absolutely works. I am not an insomniac anymore and never will be. It is completely sustainable, because of what I know now. I have changed my whole mindset on sleep. I know now that sleep is all about resting. My role is to rest and not interfere with my body’s job of providing sleep. If I get out of its way, it can get on with it. How do I do that? By learning new skills, ways of resting my body and my mind. I call it Skilful Resting.

The Art of Skilful Resting

I discovered it and you can too. It just takes a bit of patience and practice. Not a bad trade-off, to swap endless sleepless nights for a lovely mix of rest and sleep every night, where ever you are. It’s so practical, a blissful change from the awful and all-consuming emotions of insomnia.

You’ll be able to practise different aspects of skilful resting in situ, i.e. in bed at night, depending on what you’ve been doing during the day. With practice you’ll become adept at choosing and using skills. When you’re lying down in bed, you’re in a position to observe your mind and your body. You’re not looking to change anything, that’s the beauty of just noticing.

Say, you notice your mind is whizzing. Observe it. Your mind is active. Perhaps you call it overactive, no need to make this judgment, just drop the over and observe it neutrally. Allow your active mind to go over things, whatever it wants. It needs your attention for a while, a listening ear. You’re giving your mind some warm-down time after exercising. Then it will more likely settle. Especially if it gets used to being allowed to do this.

Or, you might choose to observe your body. Perhaps choose to focus on your breathing. Not to change it, just notice it. It’s interesting. See how you find it. Or maybe give your attention to another part of the body. What about your toes, how are they doing down there? Experiment, you’re in charge. Not the frustrating insomniac mindset. It used to be in charge but not now. Good riddance!

Let the Body Do Its Job

Now I’m going to say something surprising: None of the skills involved in Skilful Resting is aimed at getting you to sleep. They are not getting-to-sleep exercises. Actually, this is the whole point. Nothing exists that will get you to sleep. (Unless we’re talking sedation, and we’re not. We’re talking natural sleep here.) Remember your body will provide sleep, so it’s not a problem. Your role is to rest and allow your body to deal with sleep. (Think of your lungs dealing with breathing or your liver dealing with things that livers do!)

So, resting is the key to sleeping naturally. It’s about going to bed, lying down, resting. Your body does the sleep part, if you allow it and you don’t let your mind get in the way of it. Don’t interfere! It’s not your job!

Keep going with trying out various aspects of skilful resting. Once you get the idea, more skills will emerge. Your fantastic brain will create new pathways as you practise. There’ll be no stopping you. You’ll try these skills during the day too – as I did, and I never looked back.

My quality of life just keeps on growing, since my life was transformed in that lightbulb moment. Change your mindset. Just like that. Your amazing brain will love it!

Published by Hove StressBusters
February 2019


Further Reading:

Stress and Sleep

Are You Talking Yourelf Into Insomnia?