A Guide To Protect Yourself From The Stresses Of Those Around You

If you’re an empathetic person you’re probably having a tough time of late. A recent Gallup poll that surveyed 155,000 people in 140 different countries revealed that we are becoming sadder and angrier than ever before. This isn’t great for society and it isn’t great for empathetic people either. Being sensitive to the feelings of others and really feeling their pain, sounds like an honourable thing, but geez, it’s can be uncomfortable, and at times debilitating. Which begs us to ask the question, is empathy a good thing? If we experience the feeling of pain when others are in pain then aren’t we self-perpetuating more pain?

This is where compassion comes in. Compassion is where we understand that someone is in pain, and we feel love for that person or people, and our energy level doesn’t deteriorate. Compassion isn’t an emotion, it’s a state. Emotions are when we react to other people and circumstances. Compassion is a state that holds itself regardless of how someone else is feeling. Empathy is when you feel someone’s pain; compassion is when you feel love for someone in pain. It’s easy for us to sit and suffer alongside those that are suffering, in fact, it’s almost expected of us through our conditioning. Quite often the person in pain will want their partner or friend to also feel their pain so that there is a better connection. However, does that really help the healing, and support progress out of that state for all involved? Could Mother Theresa or Fred Hollows have done their work if they were emotionally affected each day by the people they cared for?

Compassion and empathy are very close to each other; they are both a sense of awareness about others and their state of well-being. But for empaths, one thing we have to be careful about is how much we allow that to deteriorate our own state. This requires mindfulness and practice to simply hold space for that person or group of people, to acknowledge where they are, and with grace, love and warmth, simply be there for them. This then becomes a guiding light and foundation of support for them, to release what needs to release, to feel what they need to feel, and be ok knowing its not causing suffering for you also. On the flip side, when its our turn to go through a challenging time, (and they will surely come), knowing we can lean on solid, unwavering support, someone who is going to be able to hold space for us and not fill us with guilt that we have turned their life into emotional turmoil, will be a welcome relief.

So how do we switch empathy to compassion? This is a process that requires some initial practise until you become more skilled in it if it’s not something you are familiar with. Check in with what your feeling body (read emotional state) is doing and mindfully elevate it to love. Love is the quality and essence of compassion. So pause and ask yourself, am I being pulled into their energetic frequency? Am I synching into their emotional state? Then from that unemotional place of pure love, simply Be there. Just Be. Give yourself the right to just Be. It will, in the end, be better for you and your health, and more importantly, be better for them also.

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Tom is a meditation teacher, author, speaker, coach and filmmaker. To leaern to meditate with Tom or attend one of his retreats head to https://www.tomcronin.com/. To find out where to see his film The Portal or how to host a screening yourself, head to https://entertheportal.com/

How To Meditate When You Literally Dont Have Time To Meditate!

So a couple of weeks ago I wrote an article talking about how we often don’t make time to meditate because we have positioned something higher up as a preference than the deep fulfilment that comes from meditation. Usually it’s the case that we have the time to meditate but it’s just not as a high-priority as some of the other things that we are choosing to do. However there are circumstances where we literally will just not be able to find the time to meditate. Today I will share with you some tips and suggestions on how to meditate when you literally have no time to meditate. This was inspired by an inquiry I had from one of my students today, (thank you Beth) who has a newborn child and really is struggling to find time to meditate.

This is common now for many people as we take on more demands than ever before and there will be days where sitting in a chair and closing your eyes for 20 minutes to do a meditation may just not be possible. It is those days that we need to be adaptable and look at alternatives for a meditation practice.

Meditation doesn’t have to always be an eyes-closed, withdrawing-the-senses-from-the-outer-world experience. We can incorporate a meditation practice while we are driving the car, while we are pushing the trolley in the supermarket aisle, while we are preparing dinner, and while we are at kid’s sport. It just takes a little practice and a little tweaking on what our understanding of meditation is. Yes, sitting in a chair, closing our eyes and transcending deeply into the quiet inner world beyond thought and the senses is a very powerful and effective form of meditation. One that I highly recommend we do on a daily basis.

However being present in an eyes open state, and completely in this moment without the fluctuations of the mind traversing into the future and the past is also an effective meditation practice. Being present and mindful of being the embodiment of love in each moment regardless of your environment is also a meditation practice. Freedom from emotional fluctuations in the feeling body, experiencing the subtle and blissful state of Being is also a meditation.

This can all be done throughout your day regardless of how busy you are. So yes you might have a lot of things on, and you might have no time at all throughout your day to sit in a chair and close your eyes and dive deep into meditation, however that doesn’t mean that you’re unable to be blissfully present in each and every moment. That is your meditation on those days.

So here are some tips to meditate when there is no time to meditate:

  • In the shower, pick up the soap, smell it, assess what fragrance is in the soap, feel the warm drops on your skin, and have gratitude that you are able to shower with clean warm hygienic water. There are many people in the world right now that this is not possible.
  • While on the way to work, either on the public transport or while driving, take time out from listening to the radio or a podcast, don’t go on social media and don’t read the paper. All of that is mind wandering into other people’s thoughts. Sit and be present. Can you be there, and empty the mind of thoughts. This won’t be easy, but with practice you will have glimpses into a space with no thought, just Being present.
  • While at the supermarket, take in the sounds around you, what do you hear? Be aware of the smells around you, what do you smell? What do you feel on your skin, is it cold or warm in there? Come to your senses and just observe that.
  • When cooking dinner, prepare your meals with love and do it slowly. Be aware that the food you are preparing is to be consumed by you, your family or friends. Be mindful that the energy that you are preparing and cooking with will go into that food. Ask yourself am I the embodiment of love now?
  • Before bed, turn off your phone, turn off your wifi, turn off your TV and anything that is bright or noisy, and then sit at the foot of your bed on the floor. Just for a few minutes close your eyes, place your hands over your heart and repeat slowly five times: “I Am The Expression Of Love.”

So there you have some very simple suggestions to help you meditate when you have no time to meditate. Perhaps you have some suggestions that you might like to share with us? We’d love to hear them below!

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Our monthly meditation coaching sessions are becoming a huge hit around the world! Feel free to check out our Inner Sanctum monthly meditation coaching. It’s less than $1.90 a week! Our last session had a big response with attendees saying:
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Should You Drink Caffeine?

I often get asked if I drink coffee, and the answer is no. But that doesn’t mean that you should or shouldn’t. In this video I share very briefly why I don’t drink caffeine and whether it is something for you to consume or not. Enjoy and any comments please drop them below.

 

Tom is a meditation teacher, author, corporate speaker and personal coach. He provides one on one coaching as well as group coaching in his Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership. To contact Tom about receiving his guidance or booking him to speak at your company click here.

A Juice With A Buddhist Monk Revealed The Root Cause Of All Suffering

I had the pleasure of meeting a young monk recently who spent six months a year meditating in the mountains of France in a Buddhist monastery. We caught for a juice at Bondi Beach to discuss Buddhism and enlightenment.

I was going through a time of personal discovery and I was curious to hear his perspective on the cause of suffering. His response was remarkably simple and it completely changed my perspective on things. I recently had a family pet pass away, a family member that was sick, I had to move house, I had been in a minor car accident and I was grappling with constant challenges in a project that I was working on. It felt like there was a weight of burden fall over me.

The Buddhist monk put things very simply by saying that there are really only two causes of suffering:

1. We have this deluded idea that things will be permanent when in actually fact ALL forms and phenomenon are impermanent. Everything will pass and attachment to things staying the same will cause suffering.

2. We perceive ourselves and the world around us through our limited awareness as separate entities. The notion of duality, i.e. two things, is also the root cause of suffering.

I sat with this for the rest of the day in deep contemplation. I observed all forms and phenomenon and saw them for what they were…transitory things that will come and go. Family, pets, friends, cars, money, trees, my body, even the sun will all come and go. Nothing is permanent. My existence is like a blink of an eye lid in the history of the Universe. I come, then I go. Here and gone.

The next one was much deeper. It’s one thing to intellectualise that all things are One, and nothing is separate, but to experience this is altogether different. But at the subtlest level of existence this is true…the Unified Field of Oneness is the subtlest level of reality, a Uni-verse. One thing. And when there is one thing, there is no-thing that I am not. Then if I am all things there is no-thing lacking and no holes to fill in. We pass through life with a constant ache, trying to fill in perceived big black holes in our life. As we continue to fill all of these holes, like college degree, paying off the mortgage, getting married, making money, we find that there are simply more holes that keep opening up! It’s a never ending yearning that is never fully satiated. The ache continues to eat away inside me. Get more, need more.

Is the answer to continue to explore Oneness and realise there are no holes to fill? Yes there’s action, but what if the action was born out of completeness and an expression of fulfilment not for fulfilment?

This a simplistic perspective into the complexity of life. It doesn’t answer the dilemmas of plastic in the oceans, prejudice and racism, hunger and homelessness, domestic violence or the gazillion other issues facing humanity and the planet. But it sure got me thinking….

 

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7 Reasons Why Teenagers Need A Good Night’s Sleep

By guest writer Jane Evans

A growing number of Australian teens are seriously sleep deprived. Dr. Chris Seton, an adolescent sleep physician at the Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital, told the Sydney Morning Herald that 7 in every 10 girls aged 14, get insufficient sleep, with 15% sleeping for only 5 hours a night. There are several reasons why young adolescents and teenagers are sleeping less these days, and one of them is spending too much time on their phones or computers. While some may think that this isn’t a serious problem at all, the reality is that lack of sleep not only affects the body but also one’s emotional and mental health. From having difficulty concentrating to depression, it’s clear that the repercussions of chronic sleep deprivation can be harmful to your teen’s health and behaviour.

It’s imperative that parents should help their teens to get adequate sleep for their overall well-being. Here are the main reasons why your teenager needs a good night’s sleep.

 

It can make them perform better in school
If you’ve ever gone to work after a sleepless night, then you have a general idea of how a chronically sleep-deprived teen will do in school. If your child’s grades have dropped, you may want to look into your teen’s sleep hygiene. A study has shown that students who slept 9 hours or more in a 24-hour period had significantly higher GPAs than those who sleep less than 6 hours every night. Getting adequate sleep can help to boost memory and focus, which are essential for any student. Ensure that your child has a reasonable bedtime and a comfortable yet supportive base to sleep on, which can result in better sleep.

 

It improves mood
Is your normally agreeable teen being somewhat moody or snarly nowadays? Getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night may help to improve your child’s mood. Helping your teen to have a better mindset through adequate sleep can also benefit him or her in the long run as there is research that shows that some adults’ criminal behaviour may be caused by lack of sleep during their teen years. One way to help your child get enough sleep is to observe their caffeine intake. If they usually drink colas or caffeinated beverages at night, replace these with fresh juices or teas that don’t contain the stimulant.

 

It helps them make better choices
Having bad judgment or decisions has also been linked to lack of sleep. For your teen to make better choices in life, it is important that apart from being there for guidance, you also need to make sure that he or she is well rested in the morning. Remind your teen to have a hot bath or a hot shower in the evening, which can help to relax the mind and ease the body into restful sleep.

 

It keeps them safe
Lack of sleep can impair one’s reflexes, and having good reflexes is important especially if your teen is driving to school. Having enough sleep can prevent your teen from getting drowsy while behind the wheel and avoid getting into a car accident. Being well rested can help your child save lots of lives while on the road, including his or her own.

 

It keeps them at a healthy weight
Being chronically sleep deprived can make one prone to overeating. Scientists say that a lack of sleep can trigger a craving for sweet, salty, and fatty foods, and these foods can cause a host of health problems including weight gain. To help keep your teen at a healthy weight, encourage him or her to wear a sleep mask, which can help to block out any light and promote better sleep quality.

 

It improves their skin
Most teens often have to deal with skin problems such as acne and oily skin, and both have been linked to lack of sleep. Getting enough sleep can help to reduce acne and give teen skin a natural, healthy glow. Since using mobile phones and other gadgets have been linked to sleep deprivation, encourage your child to turn off the cell phone and not use it before bedtime. Doing so can help one to sleep better and improve the skin naturally without using chemicals or cosmetics.

It reduces stress
Most teens are already stressed as they have to cope with homework, afterschool activities, and their social life. This is why they need to rest as much as possible in order to be in the right frame of mind to deal with all of their day to day activities. Advise your child to go to bed at the same time every night to set his or her internal body clock and get better sleep.

If you think your child’s sleep hygiene needs improvement, talk to your teen about having a bedtime routine and give gentle reminders to help him or her stick to it. Sleep is important for your teenager’s overall health and well-being, so take the time to help your teen get a few more hours of sleep every night.

How Getting A Puppy Dog Was A Lesson In Unconditional Love

LeoI’d like to introduce you to Leo, our latest family member. He is a 5 month old Cavoodle (cross between poodle and Cavalier Kind Charles Spaniel). He’s cheeky, funny, intelligent and a ball of cuddles. But beyond that he has this remarkable ability to inspire love wherever he goes. It doesn’t matter what mood you are in, how your day has been or even what he has done, he still manages to inspire unconditional love. He can drop a poo in the middle of the floor on our lovely shag pile rug and within minutes he will still receive adoration and cuddles.

That said he still requires boundaries and guidance to learn what’s cool and what’s not cool behaviour so he doesn’t get to totally do what ever he wants to do. So once those boundaries have been enforced and he abides by them (knowing full well that he wont ‘get it’ straight away), we continue to shower him with adoring affection and love. And from what I have gathered now that I have entered the world of pet ownership, this seems to be almost across the board with all other dog owners that I have met.

The question is, if we can do this with fluffy dogs, why can’t we do it with our fellow humans and even more so, with ourselves!? Why do we harbour sometimes a lifetime of guilt, anger, jealousy, shame, rage, low self worth, doubt and regret? Unconditional love seems to be one of the hardest conditions for humankind to embrace when it comes to other humans (and ourselves) yet we do it so easily for puppy dogs. Is it that we accept their fallibility so readily with such low expectation? I know I am my worst critic and have such high expectations on my self that I’ve spent a lifetime beating myself up because of my flaws. Being human is a challenging process. Not only do we have such high expectations on how other human’s should behave we also have them on ourselves. To some degree this is a good thing, it helps us grow and evolve. It helps us become a better human being. But finding that balance of taking that information of negative feedback to grow and overcome deep conditioning and also loving others and our self unconditionally in the process is not an easy task.

I feel I need to clarify here that loving someone (or yourself) unconditionally doesn’t mean they are allowed to do what ever they like. My greatest leaps of growth have come from inner and external criticism of my behavioural patterns that need to change. This flow of information is essential in our ongoing evolution as a human being. It’s like when I’m establishing boundaries for my teenage children, and they have their phone removed from them for a day or two as a consequence of their actions, I always emphasise to them that this is flowing from a place of a deep unconditional love that I have for them. But there are still boundaries. It’s how I follow through with them that affects the future. Sure it’s uncomfortable for a little while, but knowing that the love for them has never stopped flowing moves everyone out of the dark space quickly.

One of our greatest challenges is for us to do the same for our self. How quickly can I adapt and change for the better after suffering some consequences and then proceed to maintain unconditional love for myself? Often I will spend months berating myself and feeling dark and contracted, dimming my light and withdrawing the love, not just for myself but for others also. But does this serve me or humanity? What if there was a way to light up that dark room with my inner light of love and let it shine brighter? The ego thrives in the wallow and darkness. It’s like a toxic mould that grows in the damp darkness of misery and suffering.

The key to returning to unconditional love I believe is to dissolve the ego. When we strip this thin layer of identity away, what remains is the permanence and unmovedness of Being, otherwise known as unconditional love. Unconditional love is the essence of who we are. It’s like the sun that burns consistently showering light and warmth regardless if there are clouds or not. The ego comes in and impedes the radiance of lovingness. It’s always there however we have become so addicted to the presence of the ego that we ignore the subtlety that lies behind this. This is why it’s so hard to live in this state. This egoic layer is resilient and deeply established. There are times when we may experience the glimpse into unconditional love, yet again the layers come sweeping back in and the clouds of ego take over.

Unconditional love is not an easy state to sustain. If it was the world would be a very different place. But bringing awareness to its possibility and committing to sustaining it more and more will not only change our own daily experience but the planet as a whole.

A Tip On How To Keep Your Sanity And Thrive While Being A Parent!

So you have just been through an intense few months of carrying a young human around in your belly, then you go through a 20 hour labour that is beyond any pain you may have ever experienced or will ever experience, you’re completely exhausted, then you are given a little fragile child to look after 24/7 with no manual!

Welcome to parenting! I realise this isn’t the way it is for everyone, but it’s how it was for my wife only it was slightly different, it wasn’t one child it was two! Being a new parent is an incredibly challenging time that can place a big strain not only on your own health and happiness but also on your relationship. Yet ironically it’s in this time that you really need to bond and support each other, and also have a heap of overflow for these beautiful little beings that have entered the world.

In this clip I share how meditation can play a big part in you getting through these difficult and challenging times. For instance, my wife would meditate while breast feeding during the night which would help throw off fatigue and release more serotonin and oxytocin into her body keeping her feeling elevated. So if you are about to enter into parenthood or are currently a parent check out this this clip below.

If you have young children then check out my kids book Missy Moo Meditates. In this book you will go on a journey as Missy Moo teaches her sister Boo how to meditate. Not only will your child learn to meditate while reading the book, but you will also receive a bonus guided meditation Mp3 to download and use whenever you want. Our whole family would sit on the sofa, turn off the lights and do this guided meditation before bed and the kids would sleep so well after it! Check it out here.
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Addiction – Another Way To Heal

Addiction is a very challenging issue to overcome. For some people it can be a life time sentence. I understand this as I have an addictive personality and have experienced addiction in my lifetime also. There is another way that we can reduce the addiction grip on our life by using meditation, which I have seen the results of not just in my own life but the lives of many students also. Only recently I received a message from one of my students who said they had noticed a significant drop off in their gambling addiction. In this short video I share why this is the case and how meditation can help people who are struggling with addiction. You may know someone that this video could help, so feel free to pass it on to them.

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If you haven’t begun your journey into meditation, you might like to try our 21 day meditation program called Faster Deeper Bliss. In this program you will receive daily guidance from meditation expert, Tom Cronin, every day for 21 days. Plus you will receive 35 support videos to answer all your questions and there a few bonuses in their also that will help take your life to the next level!
Some of our members said:
“I just want to mention that Faster Deeper Bliss most definitely changed (& still is changing!) my life, so thank you” Lisa R
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“I just completed day four of my Faster Deeper Bliss meditation.  I felt as if I had an out of body experience. The peace, love and serenity just made me cry. I didn’t want that amazing feeling to end. I never meditated before, but this program seemed to be a perfect fit for me at this time in my life. Thank you so much.” Rhonda 
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How To Get Through A Dark Night Of The Soul

LightHave you recently been through a difficult time in your life, or may even be going through one right now? I have come across many friends and colleagues of late who have been experiencing something like this, myself included. 2017 was a challenging year and 2018 will be even more so it seems as we move through rapidly changing times. These dark days of suffering can be incredibly confronting, and they are experiences that all humans at some point face. The good news they will pass, and there are some things that you can do to move through them and that will help while you’re in it.
In the 16th century, a Spanish mystic called St John of The Cross wrote a book called The Dark Night of The Soul while he was in solitary confinement during the Spanish Inquisition. This was a revealing insight into his passage from the bind of his ego to the divine union (or as he calls it his “soul’s return to God”). During this process, he ventures through an emptiness beyond measure, a state of loss, desolation and darkness like never before. This emptiness is the no man’s land between the release of the bind of his egoic identity and the yet to be made union with the Divine or God. At some point, the union will be made, however it cannot be made while there is simultaneously the bond with the ego. So one must be surrendered before the other is discovered. He is neither John, the egoic identity, having already let that go, or at One with the Unbounded. Welcome to The Dark Night Of The Soul.

This is a process that we can pass through many times in our evolutionary path as we peel back layer upon layer of our false identity. Adyashanti, a revered Buddhist teacher says, “Enlightenment is a destructive process. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” As each conditioned action, thought, or emotional pattern is dissolved and removed from your being, you can experience an identity crisis, a sense of loss from what you have become so accustomed to.

It’s a lonely, dark, hollow feeling, a feeling of being lost and empty. It’s a time where you question everything and have no idea who you are any more. Do you recall ever going through this?

Hey, well it’s ok…there is a way through this and beyond that is immense light and love. This is a transition point from one level to the next. You are levelling up, and as you leave one floor, know that soon you will arrive on another floor with more expansive views that is brighter and more appealing. As St John of the Cross says: “The endurance of darkness is the preparation for great light.”

Here are some tips to support you through a dark night of the soul:

1. Withdraw. Recluse. Pull back. Your dark night is there for a reason, it is part of your growth and it’s time for inquiry. Most of our lives we spend in enquiry, that is, looking at the world outside of us. We are distracted daily by the glamour and glitz of life. But now, it’s time to look within. It’s time to INQUIRE. So try to avoid social commitments, get off your phone, look within and as much as possible, be gentle, kind and quiet with yourself.
2. Part of this solitude is to sit in stillness and meditate. It is in these deep states of consciousness that we connect to a deeper Truth. It’s where we find the wisdom and solutions. It’s where we find our Being, beyond the conditioned identity, beyond thoughts. St John says: “It is best to learn to silence the faculties and to cause them to be still.” In these times I increase my meditations from 2 a day to 3 a day to move through the process more quickly and come out the other side.
3. Sleep. Never underestimate the power of sleep. Sleep plays in integral role in the stress releasing process that is part of the dark night. Staying up late distracting yourself on the internet, drinking, watching TV or partying is exactly that, a distraction from the purpose of the dark night, to discover more of your Truth. Sleep is a period of time for the body and mind to have reprieve, restore balance and purify. Go to bed early, have naps, sleep in.
4. Ground yourself in Nature. Go barefoot into the forest. Let your feet connect to the skin of Mother Earth. Lie on the grass and feel yourself being pulled in to her. Henry David Thoreau wrote in 1853, “As for the complex ways of living, I love them not, however much I practice them. In as many places as possible, I will get my feet down to the earth.” There is nothing as simple and yet powerful than this.
5. Nourish your body and brain with wholesome food. Often in our dark states, when we don’t feel great, we are drawn to having low-grade food and drinks. Sugary food, alcohol, fatty foods and drugs can all be used as poor forms to feeling elevated. These will be temporary and not beneficial to the process that you must and will pass through. Now more than ever your body and brain needs good quality minerals, vitamins and nutrients that will be the building blocks to your development. Your body is part of this upgrade that you are going through so look after it well.
6. Seek knowledge. I find its times like this that I devour books. Predominantly spiritual texts that are choc full of wisdom. Some of my favourites are the Yoga Vasistha, Baghavad Gita, Dark Night of the Soul, Play of Consciousness and The Science of Being and the Art Of Living. There is a Sanskrit phrase yad bhavam tat bhavati which mean ‘what we think we become’. So the nature of our mind transforms our reality and putting our mind on these profound insights and words in these books will help you through one of these dark nights.
7. Seek Counsel. There are many who have walked this path before us. They know the road and can support you as you take your turn to navigate it. Find someone that you can openly talk to. Not a friend, not a family member, someone who will non-judgementally support you through this challenging time. Be it a coach, mentor, counsellor, guru or guide. As the saying goes, “when the student is ready, the teacher will come.”
8. Know this will pass. One thing that you can absolutely be assured of, that time will pass everything. The dark night is not your punishment, it is not some random accident, it is not your life sentence… it is part of your journey to a better more enlightened experience in life. To move through it, be aware of what lies beyond. Have faith and a deep knowingness that on the other side you will feel clearer, more connected, more love, and lighter. When you know this and hold this vision, guess what? You will arrive there soon after. This is evolution and there is ONLY evolution.

You might have more tools and techniques that help you pass though these passages of darkness. Please, share them with us, we would love to hear about them. And if you feel challenged, lost or are struggling with things, there is a pathway forward and be sure to reach out to someone that will support you through it.

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Are you struggling to find your purpose in life? Let us help you find it in the Zen Academy. This is a leadership program that helps you find that powerful leader inside. This is what some members had to say about their time in Zen Academy:
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Waking Up in the Middle of the Night? Can’t Sleep?

Sleeping manBy Carrie Richardson

There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night after a tiring day. For some people, falling asleep again after waking during the night is very difficult and can in turn lead to sleep deprivation. In the U.S., insufficient sleep is a public health problem. According to the data presented by American Sleep Association, 37% of 20-39 year-olds report a lack of sleep, while 40% of 40-59 year-olds also have the same problem.

People wake up in the middle of the night for various reasons. If you’re one of those people who experiences this every night, you may want to change some of your bedtime habits and adjust your bedroom in line with some of our tips below.

1. Unplug

This is probably one of the most important things to do now that gadgets have become an integral part of our lives. Browsing on our smartphone or laptop right before sleeping not only makes it harder to fall asleep, it can also wake you up in the middle of the night.

Sleep expert Dr. Wendy Troxel suggests that you should unplug at least one hour before bedtime: “Technology such as iPhones, tablets, and televisions not only provide very stimulating content, which can keep you awake at night, but they also can directly interfere with a good night of sleep by emitting light, which can interfere with sleep.”

2. Avoid alcohol before sleeping

While there are some health benefits from drinking red wine, drinking too much of it at night can actually cause disruptive sleep. Leesa provided some information on how to fall asleep faster in a recent blog post, which states that you should avoid alcohol at least 4 hours before bedtime to ensure a good night’s sleep. The reason for this is that while alcohol may put you to sleep, it’ll probably be the cause that wakes up again in the middle of the night.

A study presented by Web MD backed up this claim, stating that alcohol and sleep don’t mix. Part of the reason is because alcohol gets metabolized into sugar, and causes spikes in blood sugar, which keeps people awake.

“Alcohol may seem to be helping you to sleep, as it helps induce sleep, but overall it is more disruptive to sleep, particularly in the second half of the night,” said Irshaad Ebrahim, the Medical Director at The London Sleep Centre. “Alcohol also suppresses breathing and can precipitate sleep apnea.”

Just like wine, water may also be cause you to wake up at night. If you drink too much of it before bedtime, your body will wake you up a few hours later because you’ll need to urinate.

3. Cancel out the distractions in your room

You probably never thought that your bedroom could be the root of the problem. What’s common in most bedrooms is that sometimes light seeps in and can stop you from sleeping. Or the walls in your bedroom are too thin and the external noise can stop your from getting to sleep. These distractions can be detrimental to your sleep and make you restless.

Dr. James Findley claims that keeping an optimal sleeping environment means having a bedroom that is basically like a cave. It’s important to get uninterrupted sleep especially during the lighter stages of your sleep cycle. That being said, you might want to invest in a sleep mask, blackout curtains, and earplugs if you are easily disturbed at night.

4. Meditate 

Daily meditation can help calm the mind and slow down it’s noisey chatter. One of the biggest causes of insomnia is a busy mind that won’t stop thinking. Meditating twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening before dinner will help. Another option is just before bed spend 5-10 minutes sitting upright in a chair and observe the breath moving through the nostrils. This will have a calming effect on the mind and help produce more melatonin to induce sleep.

Sleep is very important so that you can function to the best of you abilities throughout the day. Keep these tips in mind if you’re constantly waking up during the night and the chances are you will be able to improve your sleeping habits moving forward.

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If you would like to find out more tips on how to break insomnia and get a deep restful sleep then you can get Faster Deeper Sleep.
Faster Deeper Sleep is your complete guide to experiencing a deep nourishing sleep that will have you waking up feeling refreshed and full of energy every morning. The author, Tom Cronin, suffered insomnia for 10 years during his career as a broker in finance, and it was these very steps that completely cured his insomnia.

In this book you will gain a deep understanding of why you may be experiencing poor sleep and then a series of simple guidelines that will have you falling asleep within minutes of your head hitting the pillow every night.
Faster Deeper Sleep is your ultimate guide to a restful good nights sleep.
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* 4 things to avoid that will be affecting your sleep patterns
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