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Tips for Deep Sleep

Cory Muscara






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Tips for Deep Sleep

Learn three strategies to soften a busy mind and tense body, and drift into deep sleep.

In today's session, we are going to talk

about sleep, three tips for deep sleep.

More to come on that soon.

For now, let's settle in together by

tuning into the sound of the bells.

Okay, so let's talk sleep.

Sleep was a pain point for me

for about 10 years of my life.

Mostly through adolescence,

I struggled with sleep.

I'd wake up many times throughout

the night, tough for me to

fall asleep, stay asleep.

And my sleep always just

felt light,light and surface.

And I had taken sleep meds,

it just made me groggy.

Didn't like it.

And I started meditating, and

literally within three weeks, I went

from waking up over 30 times a night,

only a couple of times a night.

And it has been like that since.

I have no issues with my .sleep.

, It's easy for me to fall

asleep quickly, stay asleep and

wake up feeling rejuvenated.

And I've heard similar stories of

people I've taught over the years

who struggle with sleep and then

engage in a meditation practice

and their sleep improved radically.

So first thing is, a

big plug for meditation.

It's a great way to simply learn

how to settle the mind, calm the

mind, not get so pulled around by

distractions and also release excess

tension in the body, which is very

important when you're trying to settle.

But if you don't have a

meditation practice, that's okay.

I want to give you three steps you

can use to deepen your sleep if

you're struggling or to make it even

deeper, if you're already sleep well.

Tip number one is to replay the day.

As soon as you wake up in the

morning, you quickly go into battle.


That's a terrible way to put it.

Life isn't necessarily a battle, but

you're quickly going into this stimulation

and the momentum and the to-dos your life.

And throughout that, if you're not

attuned and present to what's happening

as it's happening, a lot of energy

can get built up throughout the day.

Little problems that maybe you

didn't get to resolve in your mind,

sort of get pushed in the back

or fill up your backpack of life.

And at the end of the day, if your

mind doesn't feel like it had the space

to attend to and process the various

things that arose, it may still be

working to try to find resolution.

So this step is a way for you to

start at the beginning of the day

and visualize yourself moving through

all your various tasks so that your

mind can feel like everything was

addressed that needed to be addressed.

It's kind of like organizing a messy room.

When you walk into a room and

there's so much clutter, the mind

doesn't even know where to begin.

And while you're in there the entire time,

it, even if you're not thinking about

it consciously, there's this sense that

something needs to be cleaned up or fixed.

And we can have the same experience

when we get to the end of our day.

So much that happened, so much

metaphorical clutter that we

need to organize it a bit.

And just touching through the various

experiences in a chronological way,

helps the mind feel, okay, this

happened, this happened, this happened.

I went through everything.

There's nothing I need

to attend to right now.

And now I can let go.

Sometimes when we do this, though,

we can get snagged on certain

experiences throughout the day.

So make sure that as you're replaying,

you're not going into certain

conversations or issues or problems

that arose with the intention to

fully process or fix or solve, because

that can, as you can imagine, be,

can take up quite a bit of time.

It's more that you're acknowledging.

Okay, there's that experience.

I can revisit that tomorrow.


Then I went to this, then I went to

this, then I had this conversation.

Then I had this meal

and then this happened.

Oh, that's something that

I might need to attend to.


We'll put that away for tonight

and revisit that tomorrow.

And that telling the mind that we'll

revisit that tomorrow, we don't need to

address that right now, just lets the

more primal part of your brain soften

and relax and not feel like it has to

be in the background saying, remember

this, remember this, remember this.

It can even be helpful to

write these things down.

If they do feel very important.

So that's the first one, replay the day.

It can be done literally in 30 seconds

or over the course of a few minutes.

Tip number two is inviting

the body to turn off.

Now, what does this mean?

Because it's not like the body is

actually turning off when we sleep.

I see it as offering an invitation to the

body, saying, Hey, You worked hard today.

You moved a lot.

You grabbed a lot of things.

You bent down a bunch.

You digested a bunch of food.

This is your opportunity to settle, to

not have to work, to turn off for a bit.

It's kind of like turning

off the batteries.

And in my experience, the body responds

really well to this, to this invitation.

So how does it work?

Well, I like to start

all the way at my feet.

And just feel, feel my little feet.

Say, Hey feet, how's it going?

I don't, I might not say

that, but something nice.

A little embrace.

Hey feet.

And then say, it's okay to turn off.

Turn off.

You can move up to the, the

shins, the calves, maybe feel like

you're breathing into that area.

Breathing in and then turn off.

And you could say turning off or

it's okay to turn off, but something

that's a gentle invitation.

Now where you want to be careful with

this is turn off, can sound like a

command and it can come across aggressive.

Even if we're saying it to

ourselves without that intention.

It could easily go turn

off, turn off, turn off.

And that can create extra strain and

stress both in the mind and in the body.

So just remember that this is a,

it's why I say it's an invitation.

We can never force the

body to do anything.

We can ever force it to be

relaxed, but we can invite it to.

So we moved from the feet all the

way up to the top of the head.

And often by the end of this, any

excess tension that was there or

any part of the body that still felt

engaged or activated has at least had

some permission to soften and relax.

And this is a really important

next step as we're settling

ourselves for deeper sleep.

So that's tip number two, inviting the

body to turn off, starting from the feet

all the way up to the top of the head.

And this brings us to tip number three,

which is to anchor your attention on

your breath until you drift to sleep.

This step is important for two reasons.

The first, there's a lot of research

to demonstrate the connection between

the breath and the nervous system.

And when we're in touch with our

breathing, especially if our breathing

is long and smooth, it is very

settling for the nervous system.

And in the context of sleep that's of

most importance for the body to just

feel that it can relax, that it can

be at ease, that it's safe to do that.

And the breath is a quick

shortcut to signal that to the

body, to the nervous system.

The second reason why anchoring on the

breath is important is because much of the

time when we're struggling with sleep it's

because our mind is all over the place.

Caught up in the tomorrow,

caught up in what's happened

already throughout the day.

Well, step one helps with that, but also

just caught up in judgments and ideas.

And I think we've all had that experience

while trying to fall asleep or even

in the middle of the night, how.

Neurotic and obsessive the mind

can be and how frustrating that

is in the context of sleep.

So anchoring to the breath is not a

way to totally clear the thoughts,

because once we set that up as an

expectation, we'll get more frustrated

because the thoughts rarely go away.

We're just offering more of our

attention and presence to the breath.

And when we notice the mind wander,

we just bring it back to the breath.

Wanders again, we just

bring it back to the breath.

And this is meditation 101.

So there's nothing radical here.

But what I think is a little more

unique is making the process of

falling asleep a meditation in itself.

So instead of trying to relax or

trying to force ourselves to fall

asleep, we just be with the breath.

That's the only intention.

Not have to clear the mind, not have

to find some deep sleep-like state.

Now I'm just going to be with the breath.

And that simple activity will collect

the attention enough so that we're

not swept around by so many thoughts.

And that collected attention will also

start to settle the body even more.

And the beauty of this step is that

you just do it until you fall asleep.

And the double beauty is that

even if it takes a while to fall

asleep, you're also meditating.

And the research does show that meditation

practice over time will deepen sleep.

So even if it's not helping

you immediately in the short

term, you're setting yourself

up more over the longterm.

The best way I think to focus

on the breath in this step is to

feel the sensations in your belly.

You can even place one hand on your belly.

There's something about that

that tends to be very settling.

And focus a little more on the exhale in

this practice, because the exhale is often

going to be the most relaxing piece of it.

And it can be an invitation for the

body to relax a little more deeply,

settle more deeply into the mattress

or the surface that you're sleeping on.


So those are our three

tips for deep sleep.

One, replay the day.

Two, invite the body to turn off.

Three, anchor your attention on

the breath until you fall asleep.


That wraps up our main content for today.

Great being with you.

Take care.

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