Dr. Rubin Naiman sees getting a good night’s sleep from an angle not too unfamiliar to the ADHD experience:
“The vast majority of people with insomnia/sleeplessness, are not insufficiently sleepy… they’re plenty sleepy…. but they’re too wakeful.Many people habituate a state of hyperarousal by running high and running hot – a kind of aerobic consciousness.The real problem is learning to slow down from this state of excessive wakefulness. The more confident people are in their ability to slow down and stop, the more confident they feel about going fast. It’s OK to get hyperaroused, but if you’re a jet, you need time to descend and have a longer runway.”
For developing a personalized bedtime ritual of slowing down time, he suggests:
- Work on it before getting into bed.
- Literally make slower motor movements, and also slow down your thinking.
- Dimmed lights also encourage slower movements.
- Having a slowing ritual into another element, like taking a warm bath
- Intentionally assign meaning to the dayby having a process around letting go.
- Re-contextualize even ordinary days by creating your own bedtime story as the day being one page/picture in the larger story/picture of your life.
- Most common is writing a journal or verbal sharing as a joint practice with a partner.
- Attend to possible ways of cranking up your sleepiness through HOWyou get into bed
- Are you sitting/reading/watching TV even though your head is bobbing from sleepiness?
- In what ways are you clinging to the waking world?
- Routinely falling asleep the moment your head hits the pillow might be a sign of having a sleep disorder rather than being a good sleeper.
- Excessive sleepiness at bedtime might indicate that you need more winding down time.
- By routinely waking up with an alarm, the end of your sleep is snipped off and you might end up never getting enough sleep.
- Rather try going to bed earlier each night so that you can work it out to wake up without an alarm.
- Let your going-to-bed thoughts serve your depth of sleep and the larger relationship you have with sleep.
- In stead of thinking about the next day, consciously choose to think of sleeping as a little vacation, an overnight spiritual getaway from the day.
- Have the conscious intention of experiencing sleep, not the next morning’s awakening and tasks.
- Appreciate sleep as much as waking.