Goodnight, Sleep Right, Heeds Mind over Natter: When All Is Zed and Done, We Need a Rest from ‘shoulds’ That Surround Our Important Time in Bed

Byline: HELEN HAWKES, The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia), Questia, May 3, 2014

WE hear a lot of a[approximately]shoulds' about sleep. We should get eight hours. We should fall asleep when our head hits the pillow and we should wake up refreshed.

But one of the world's leading sleep experts, Rubin Naiman, says we have sleep all wrong; Sleep is a journey, not a destination.

Dr Rubin Naiman is the sleep and dream specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the world-renowned University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

He works with athletes and celebrities, helping them to achieve healthy sleep and dreams.

He is also the author of a number of works on sleep, including Healing Night, Healthy Sleep (with Andrew Weil), The Yoga of Sleep and To Sleep Tonight, and his latest book, Hush.

Dr Naiman believes "we don't get sleep because we don't a[approximately]get' sleep".

He says most sleep struggles are rooted in "a misinformed, myopic and overly aggressive posture toward sleep and dreams".

Healing our sleep and dreams requires a radical shift in thinking (not another book of a[approximately]tips').

"It's noisy out there," he says."

Sometimes it feels like there are wild and wounded things prowling about the night. And it can get pretty noisy in here, as well. An unsettling and relentless din echoes around our homes and hearts, disrupting our precious sleep."

Over the past half century, sleep has been abducted from its natural home in our hearts and minds, and has become exceedingly medicalised, he says.

"We must actively reclaim sleep and reaffirm our personal authority over and responsibility for our own sleep.

Dr Naiman believes that in order to solve our sleep problems, we must learn to cultivate a more mindful and non-violent approach.

Here, in an extract from Hush, Dr Naiman shares some of his a[approximately]spiritual prescriptions for sleep', designed to speak to the heart as well as the mind.

Chronic sleeplessness is a symptom of our addiction to waking

We live in a world that views waking consciousness as the quintessential human experience. Being awake is considered synonymous with being truly alive. When we're challenged with problems, including sleeplessness, we reflexively engage our waking minds to solve them.

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Professional Publications

Naiman, R. “Nightmind Making Darkness our Friend Again,” Psychotherapy Networker, March-April 2008.

Naiman, R. “Sleep Disturbance and Chronic Pain: An Integrative Approach,” The Pain Practitioner, American Academy of Pain Management, June 2010.

Naiman, R and Paul Abrahamson, “Sleep Disorders in Rheumatologic Conditions: an Integrative Medicine Approach,” in Andrew Weil, ed. Integrative Rheumatology, Oxford University Press: 2010.

Naiman, R. How Cool is Your Sleep? PsychologyToday.com / Jan 2011.

Naiman, R. Circadian Rhythm and Blues (part 1 & 2), PsychologyToday.com / March 2011.

Naiman, R. “How Cool is Your Sleep?” The Pulse: Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors. Fall, 2012.

Naiman, R. “An Integrative Medicine Approach to Insomnia” in Rakel, David, Ed. Integrative Medicine, 3rd ed. Elsevier: 2012/2-015.

Naiman, R. “Integrative Medicine Approaches to Insomnia.” Sleep Review. October, 2015.

Naiman, R. “Remembering REM: An Integrative Approach to Dreaming.” Sleep Review. November 2015

Naiman, R. “Integrative Medicine Approaches to Narcolepsy.” Sleep Review. May 2016.

Naiman, R. Sleep and the Spectrum of Consciousness (Interview). Advances in Body-Mind Medicine. June 2016.

Naiman, R. “Dreamless: The Silent Epidemic of REM Sleep Loss,” Annals of The New York Academy of Sciences, In Press: 2017.