Sleep is a major component of our lives. With enough sleep, we wake up feeling rejuvenated and ready to conquer the world. Every day, millions of people in the world have to struggle with some sleep disorder when they go to bed at night. But this doesn't have to be the case if we learn the right philosophy of sleep which will affect our quality of life and longevity. After all, the quality of sleep determines the state of our health and well-being.
How does this philosophy come about?
In my years of study in Chinese metaphysics, I have discovered the correlation between the mind and body when it comes to the flow of energy known as Qi or life force. This life force exists in the universe and can be activated by man through the process known as the trinity - heaven (BaZi), earth (Fengshui) and man (luck pillars). In the concept of trinity and power, man is a conscious being that possess the power of thoughts which flow from the mind - the control center of Qi.
And Qi flows where the mind goes.
To activate the power of trinity, man needs to harness the mind so that Qi can flow smoothly and easily especially when the body is at rest. Sleep takes place only when the mind is free from anxiety and stress. This is where the mind works in mysterious ways to get into a state of sleep. The harder one consciously try to fall asleep, the harder it is getting to sleep. This leads to a phenomenon known as stressed induced anxiety which makes it virtually impossible to fall asleep.
In order to get into a state of rest, the mind and body needs be synchronized through the trinity of relaxation of the body, relaxation of the mind and the channeling of the Qi. This involves a process known as the power of three as follows:-
1) Know that trying harder to sleep is not helpful at all
2) Get into a comfortable position in bed
3) Clear your mind of any unwanted thoughts
Power of 1) is to realize that sleep is a phenomenon that cannot be controlled through conscious effort as the mind is always anxious when you are struggling to sleep. As such, you need to learn to let sleep comes naturally. Be at peace with this fact and embrace it.
Power of 2), find a relax position in bed that your body is accustomed to and this is where you are like water. This is because water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows. And Qi will flow accordingly.
Power of 3), your mind is a playground of thoughts. You can either clear your mind or skip/skim over the thoughts in your head. Try clearing the thoughts by thinking nothing and not letting any worries enter the mind. If you fail to do so, at least skip over whatever thoughts that comes in and skim over them. This means your thoughts will just glide over the surface of the mind just like water running down the surface of the roof when raining. There is no retention.
You need to harness the power of the body and mind by practicing the above three habits as a process. Do it consistently so that it becomes a natural part of the sleep process. As you get more and more experienced with this process, sleep will come naturally as part of the power of trinity.
Apart from the mind, we also need to feed the body with healthy foods that are rich in nutrients. As we grow older, the production of melatonin decreases. This sleep hormone can be boosted by eating healthy foods as your daily meals. There are a variety of foods in the market that caters to restful sleeps such as fruits, seeds, nuts, oats and milk. My personal favorites are muesli cereals which contains a mix of blueberry, cranberry, roasted almonds, cashew nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, rolled oats, wheats etc. These add to the tasty flavors of whole grain cereals when you pour in milk. If you are lactose intolerance, you can always go with soymilk. It makes up a healthy meal at breakfast, lunch or dinner. At bedtime, you can also supplement your diet with magnesium which is the most powerful muscle relaxants of all minerals. Take it in the form of capsule of 350 -500 mg about 2 hours before going to bed.
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