Spiritual awakening shifts around a lot of stuff in our inner worlds, and having all the inner furniture moving can certainly cause a lot of ruckus in other rooms in our inner home. One notable room is how we sleep. Because sleep is one of the fundamental elements of being a human being, not getting enough or not getting the right kind of sleep directly impacts how you feel and experience life. Sleep issues often underlie the chronic fatigue issue that also can show up for a lot of people during an awakening.
Today, I wanted to offer some thoughts and some potential solutions to help you cope with the challenges of not sleeping well enough, not enough, or too much. As always, I want to emphasize that this is not medical advice, and it’s always a good idea to check in with the Western MD. We have them for a reason, and they are as much a part of the spiritual path as any healer out there.
But when we are otherwise perfectly healthy and our sleeping patterns change after awakening, there can be a couple of reasons for this. Also, it tends to be the case that several of these issues are going on at once.
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Also, here’s a more complete guide to discussing spiritual awakening as a whole:
Before we delve into this, let’s take an enormous breath and a big step back. I want you to look into these questions first as you investigate your sleep issues.
Investigating Health Issues First
Are You Stimulated a lot by Media or Other Things?
things first, if you are heavily stimulated by what you are watching on your phone, your work, your computer, your tablet, your TV, your radio, and any other form of stimulation, then you need to reduce it. In particular, you need time for your brain and nervous system to calm down a couple hours before you go to sleep.
Time to stop your workday. Put down the phone. Unplug. Go take a walk and breathe fresh air. Your body needs time to come into a landing, not just drop out of the sky straight to the ground.
Are You a Mouth Breather?
Mouth breathing at night can be truly toxic to your sleep. According to the below book, 25% of Americans have sleep apnea, and mouth-breathing has a role to play in all that. If you are breathing badly at night, you are going to have sleep problems. That is not a spiritual thing; this is about the mechanics of the body.
If you know you breathe through your mouth, try using mouth tape to keep your lips closed for a few weeks. See how your sleep feels.
Also, seriously, read this book: Breath by James Nestor
Are You Eating Cooking Oils?
This tip comes from personal experience. Canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and other processed oils messed up my sleep and gave me a sense of “low energy” for most of my life. But it wasn’t “low energy.” Nothing spiritual here. My body simply struggled to digest these things, and I had no idea.
When I got rid of them, I went from needing 9 to 10 hours of sleep to 8 to 9 hours of sleep. Since doing this in 2018, I get up refreshed in the morning, and I no longer have a sense of lethargy to compete with throughout my days.
When you look into this issue, you’ll find out just how many food products have oils in them. I encourage you to get them out as part of investigating your sleep issues before jumping to the conclusion that something spiritual is going on.
Okay. You’re doing all that, right?
Without further ado, let’s talk about 5 types of spiritual awakening sleep problems, changes, and insomnia.
5 Sleep Problems and Possible Solutions
1 Intense Reactions to Shift in Understanding
Since a real spiritual awakening often comes with dramatic shifts in understanding, our ego is often triggering our nervous system into fight or flight. The newness of it all can feel strange, and people–myself included at one time–would call all these strange sensations and emotions energy.
No. It’s a fight-or-flight response.
The more upset we are, the more we may feel like we are “highly sensitive.”
Nope. You’re over-stimulated.
And freaked out by this unknown process.
Along with the freak out and resistance that can disturb sleep, there tends to be a whole lot of healing that people have to deal with.
People carry around all kinds of emotions and memories in their bodies, and healing is no joke. As a person comes into acceptance that you–yes, even you with the amazing life you’ve had–are carrying around all kinds of upset emotions and attachments from your childhood, there is a whole other quality of healing and inner work that now goes on.
That can take a lot of energy.
Even when sleeping normally, you can end up being extremely tired and worn out when you’ve done nothing physically significant. Plus, your shifts and healing come according to their timing, not your ego’s preference. That can mean that they light up at 9 PM at night when you’re ready to wind down. As such, you can find yourself up late at night when you’d want to be sleeping. You may be up all night and develop insomnia if the intensity of the shifts and healing are particularly high and unceasing. Depending on your schedule (and I do hope you can learn to change that schedule as much as possible), you may have to get up before you’ve had enough or any sleep.
Potential Sleep Solutions for Intense Ego Reactions
It’s important to not view your awakening as a problem or torturing you. You’re going through a fundamental life change that is beautiful and will offer you a chance to live life in a totally new and beautiful and natural way.
More to the point, you’re finally looking at reality, and you have to accept that you were just staring at your illusions for most of your life.
As for solutions, accept the reality you’re discovering. Do your inner work during the day, and give yourself time to wind down at night. If you start journaling at 11 PM PT, don’t expect to be sleeping too great after you’ve just churned up a bunch of crap to process.
Finally, meditation in the morning can be very nourishing for some of you if sleep has gone badly. For me for several years, my morning meditation felt rejuvenating. It was a way of feeling like I got a full night’s sleep in just 30 minutes.
2 Relaxation and Powerful Issues
At night, we tend to relax more, and when we relax, our resistance to old pain diminishes. This is why some people in awakening and other spiritual shifts find night time to be a kind of Hell on Earth. They’ll start to relax before going to bed or while asleep at night, and then all kinds of unprocessed crap will boil to the surface, disrupting your peaceful night’s repose.
Severe insomnia can develop for people who have extreme resistance to the pain stuck inside, and such a high resistance further suggests a lot of deep trauma that’s trying to boil to the surface so that you can at least resolve it.
Potential Sleep Solutions for Powerful Issues
Let yourself be aware of what is coming up whether at night or during the day. This is how we learn to dissolve issues with awareness and to let our issues resolve themselves. We are so gifted to have bodies that know how to heal. It’s time to get out of the way of that process. It can lead to a better night’s sleep.
If you have trauma and your sleep is being disrupted, get more support! Awakening doesn’t fix you; it shows you what is real and what is inside of you.
If you are still not sleeping well, practicing coming back to awareness will help to allow things to process out. Sure, you’d rather be sleeping, but if you practice this, then at least you’re helping things to resolve.
But still, deal with your issues during the day. I know so many people come to me hoping to bypass their issues, and then during this process, they boil up at night when their ego lets down a little bit of its guard.
3 Re-Aligning to Your Natural Sleep Patterns
Some people have never slept according to their natural sleep patterns, and now the deeper intelligence within you is emerging. How ever you naturally want to sleep is now coming out. This can extend the amount of sleep you need, and it can change the hours that you go to sleep at and when you wake up. As always, resisting this change will bring further problems.
Potential Sleep Solutions for Emerging Sleep Patterns
Um, do what your body wants. I am sure it is inconvenient to your schedule, but whenever possible, do what your body wants. I know that jobs and children have their own schedules, but right now, you’re going to need to figure out some creative solutions if you want to feel rested and clear. That’s assuming you’ve ever felt fully rested and clear, and that experience can be a brand new one for so many people who live in our society and aren’t sleeping enough. Not sleeping right is a big enough problem that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls it an epidemic in this article:
4 Processing Issues Through Dreams
Especially for those resisting their transitions and whatever they need to do, their dreams and subconscious can take over the heavy lifting of processing issues. Even if you are embracing your shift, the subconscious also needs to get with the program and integrate with this emerging awareness. When this is happening, people can have really vivid dreams. If someone has experienced violence, violent dreams may be surfacing. A lot of strange and repressed things may also come out of the subconscious closet to be addressed, and especially for the things most avoided, nighttime dreams are an avenue where our soul knows we have the least resistance and will have to face the truth.
Potential Sleep Solutions for Dream Processing
This solution is much like I mentioned before, which is to embrace your path.
Do your spiritual work during the day.
Accept that you have changed.
The life as you knew it is over.
The life as you knew it was an illusion, so it never really existed anyway.
Sure, you were sharing a dream with lots of other people, which made life seem safe and gave you things. But it wasn’t real. In your inner most depths, you know this, and your soul decided that it was time for this fantasy to come to an end.
Especially for those of you who receive a lot of messages through your dreams, having a dream journal to write down what is coming up in your dreams will help to process things. If your dreams are waking you up at night, then you might as well do something. If they don’t wake you up, try to journal them out first thing in the morning and then get in a meditation to rest and allow for fully conscious processing.
Remember that dreams are rarely literal. They speak in signs, emotions, and sensations to some degree. If you really want to get into understanding dreams, you may look into Carl Jung’s books. You can also read this blog post to explore more on this topic:
# 5 Psychic Disturbances
Let’s forget about this one for now.
So many “psychic” things are just things we don’t understand about our “psyche.” Also, a lot of “psychic” people are carrying significant unresolved issues and trauma. It leads the mind into strange kinds of imagination and dissociation.
If you’re read more than a few posts on this blog, you’ll notice that I talk about psychic stuff differently in other places. Well, I’ve been on a journey of deeper understanding of people, and this little paragraph is being updated in 2021. So please go with what I’m saying here.
Potential Sleep Solutions for “Psychic Disturbances”
It’s time to get very serious about looking at unresolved issues in your mind, heart, and body. If a part of you is projecting images that don’t exist onto the world around you, this is serious. If you are projecting feelings onto others, animals, objects, or onto nothing at all, it is time to get serious about your inner work. If you aren’t already in therapy, it’s time to get into therapy. Spirituality is not a short-cut to healing, nor should it replace a trained therapist.
Additionally, those people who are stuck in hypervigilance can be projecting all kinds of fears and meaning onto all kinds of people and places. Relaxation techniques are critical to heal your mind. Breathwork and meditation are important parts of any spiritual practice, but particularly since sleep is disturbed, you HAVE TO DO THEM!
Returning to a Peaceful Night’s Sleep
I can’t say how these things will go for you, but my genuine feeling is that when you have no actual medical problem and you accept what is arising and do your necessary inner work, things do calm down. Your sleep returns to its natural pattern, and you get the rest you want again.
For more thoughts about the subconscious processing that could be disturbing your sleep, you can check out this article:
Additionally sugar can mess up a lot of things, and who knows, maybe that can include sleep. What we put in our bodies matters, so many times, this really isn’t a spiritual issue at all. You can read more of my thoughts on why sugar reduction is really important to health in general on this link:
For more help in matters involving health and sleep, you can check out this Mayo Clinic Article:
Here are yet other resources that may help you deal with what is going on with your sleep: