Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Can't Sleep, Can't Wake Up?

It's 3.00am in the morning and you are even past the desperate stage. You're resigned to no sleep. Your mind freewheels. If you're officially going to be awake – you may as well think of something huh? If this sounds familiar – read on. The flip side can be just as bad!
Later that morning….
You become aware that you're here again. Alive. Senses slowly awaking. You heard an alarm somewhere far in the distance – annoying but essential. You know you need to heed its call…but it's so warm in here! It looks cold and dark out there and a seductive voice tells you can afford to take just a short little 10 minutes from your morning routine. After all, you surely deserve it after all the work you have been doing lately and 10 little minutes won't realllly mat…ter wiilll iittttttttttt? Hmmm zz zzz zzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Arrgggg! You sit bolt upright. It's 9.30 am! You've darn- well overslept by 2 hours. You're dead meat! You've missed the weekly team meeting, the boss is going to fry you alive and you'll have to do a lot of butt kissing to get another chance to see that important potential new client. All because of a lousy '10 little minutes!'
You can't win either way! Can't sleep when you want to and can't wake up when you need to.
Time to fix this? I think so….
The solution is quite simple. It's about how you run your brain. Let's take the first scenario. You lie awake…thinking. You know you need to get to sleep and firmly tell yourself to 'go to sleep!!'. Notice the tone of voice you just used. Was it warm, calming, soft? Did it encourage a 'snuggle – up and snooze' response or did it make you a little tense? Did that tenseness trigger a slowing down of your thought processes or did you speed up a little?
Now let's take a look at the visual aspects. When you demanded that you 'go to sleep!!' were the images in your mind hard to really see clearly, a bit vague, floating and getting s l o w e r? Or where they a bit edgy, jerky, moving from issue to issue, speedingupandstartingtomergetogether?
Which do you figure is conducive to sleep?
OK – now you've worked out what works internally to get you to sleep – let's explore what will wake you up – that's if you haven't jumped ahead of me!
You wake up. The end of a sleep cycle, someone moving, talking, cat demanding to be fed, or perhaps the alarm could have triggered it. Given that we constantly talk to ourselves, your tone of voice, tempo, and emotional flavour will all affect how we respond to another day. Is your internal voice soft, seductive and persuasive (we all know the lies about 'just another little 10 minutes by now!)? Or does it have a ring of excitement, anticipation, and energy about it? A bit of edge, sharpness, ummppph? And the images? Are they appealing, fast, colourful, big, bold, dramatic, up-tempo?
If Stephen Spielberg could have access to the immense multi- dimensional graphics, sounds and past experiences we have daily access to, he would be in artistic heaven! We can colour our world whatever shade we choose. Pick from countless sound tracks and special effects and access any emotional state we want to play out in our day. We can distort, delete, add change and play until the cows come home. We can even encourage our tired bodies to gently, uhhh, s l o wl y r-el-a-x and taaaaaaaaaake a wel l l l l deserved nap. Hmmm-good ideaaaaaaa. Zz zzz zzzzzzzzz