You probably all know the feeling of going to bed after a busy day and not being able to sleep because your mind is racing. You’re tossing and turning for hours and you start stressing yourself about your alarm that is about to go off in just a couple of hours. You try all sorts of things, turning the pillow, counting sheep, taking a hot shower, eating in the middle of the night, no coffee after 2 PM and still nothing seems to be working. This is actually a problem that a lot of people can relate to, whether it happens every night or just once in a while. But what if it would be possible to switch off those spinning thoughts and fall asleep right away? What if you could learn a simple technique that would not only make you fall asleep after a few minutes, but also give you more peaceful dreams and deeper sleep? It’s that kind of technique that I would like to share with you today. A technique that I learned when I was in India in 2016 and something I’m using whenever I have a hard time falling asleep. It’s super simple and hopefully this will be something that can help you too!
It’s also important for me to tell you that I’m no sleeping expert or a doctor. If you have trouble with insomnia I recommend talking to a professional or your doctor, I’m simply sharing my own experience.
One of the people that this technique has helped is a girl named Maggie. In 2019 Maggie and I lived together for a very short time when I was studying acting in New York. One morning we started talking about sleep and she shared with me that ever since she was a little girl she has had trouble sleeping at night. Often it would take her many hours before falling asleep and when she finally did she would often have severe nightmares and feel exhausted in the morning, as if she hadn’t slept at all. She was also taking prescribed sleeping meditation to help her sleep, yet nothing seemed to help. I felt really sorry for Maggie and asked her if it could share with her what I learned in India about sleep. She agreed and I told her my story, which I will share with you too.
Dream Sleep Meditation
Back in 2016 my boyfriend (now husband) Blair and I did a yoga and meditation teacher training course in Rishikesh in India. I knew very little about yoga but was very passionate about meditation which was something I had practised for many years. At the yoga and meditation school we had a wonderful meditation and philosophy teacher named Jivasu who also happened to be a doctor. One day he was telling us about this very effective and simple sleeping technique, a type of meditation he called the “Dream Sleep Meditation”.
Jivasu guided us through the meditation and within no time the whole class was asleep. I instantly realized that this was a very powerful technique and wrote it down in my little notebook so that I would never forget it. Jivasu told us that he would like for us to share this technique with the rest of the world as he knew how big of a problem insomnia is in the world.
After I shared this story with Maggie she tried out the meditation and the next morning she told me that she had slept really well and that she had fallen asleep right away. Not only had she released all her spinning thoughts but she also had peaceful dreams, which was a very rare thing for her. Today Maggie is still sleeping well at night and falls asleep within minutes. If you’re just like Maggie or if you know someone who is struggling with insomnia, it makes me so excited to know that you will learn this technique too.
Maggie's Own Words:
"I have always had trouble calming my mind while trying to fall asleep. In the past I have tried everything from counting backwards to even being prescribed sleeping medication (which left me feeling extremely foggy and disoriented the next morning.) Ditte taught me the Dream Sleep Meditation and it has completely changed the way I fall asleep. It is so simple and helps me reflect on my day -- I am able to fall asleep in just a couple of minutes when it used to take hours to feel exhausted enough to sleep."
Dream Sleep Meditation - How To Do It:
When you’re laying in your bed at night and is about to go to sleep, you should lay on your right side of your body. Hands touching each other and feet crossing over each other.
When you’re laying on your right side of your body, you will then be breathing through your left side of your body, which according to yogi science is beneficial for your stomach, digestive system and your heart. (If this is not comfortable you can also do this on your back or whatever sleeping position is best for you. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable.)
This meditation technique is basically about letting go of your day and releasing your thoughts. The way you do that, is to mentally run through the events of your day in reverse. This part is super important! This is the number one trick! So what you have to do is, to think about the last thing that you did before you went to bed and then go through your day backwards until the morning you woke up. You can go through your day in reverse up to three times in a row! It’s rather important, however, that you don’t do this too slowly and that you don’t stop to analyse your day, because then you would just create more thoughts, which is not what we want. So just go through your day smoothly and swiftly backwards and try simply to observe it without analyzing it.
When you have done this 3 times and if you’re still awake, then you should take 7-10 deep breaths the whole way down into your lungs and your stomach.
Then you imagine a white light above your head. Imagine that this white light moves down through the crown or the top of your head and stops for a while in your forehead in between your eyebrows. Then imagine that the light will travel down through your face and into your throat. Let the light stay there for a little bit before you let it move down to your heart where it will stay.
Take another three deep breaths and let go.
That's the meditation, that’s the technique. Super simple yet very effective. Give it a go and see what happens for yourself.
Free Guided Meditation
I have also made this into a guided meditation and put it up on my podcast as an episode so it’s easy for you to stream or download on your phone.
Click here to listen: https://www.ditteelton.com/podcast
You can also find this guided meditation on my YouTube cannel just click the link below.
Some people like to meditate by themselves and would rather not listen to a guided meditation. But if you are new to meditation and if you’re really struggling with insomnia and having spinning thoughts at night, I recommend listening to this guided meditation. In that way you won’t have to worry about if you’re doing the technique correctly and can just focus on the actual meditation.
An Extra Bonus
As a bonus this sleeping technique will cleanse your mind and your thoughts which means that you will have more peaceful dreams at night. According to Jivasu, when we sleep at night the brain likes to sort out everything we’ve been doing throughout the day, which often manifests in our dreams, but since you’ve already done that by going through your day backwards the brain doesn’t have to do it while you’re asleep. Another bonus is that if you’re falling asleep while doing the Dream Sleep Meditation your brain will naturally be in a meditative state of mind, which is great if we want to improve our meditative practice.
If She Can Do It - So Can You!
Before I finish this blog post I would like to tell you about a close friend of mine who had a very severe accident back in the beginning of 2017. Because of the accident she got PTSD and started struggling with sleeping at night because of pain, PTSD and nightmares. She went to her doctor and he prescribed her some sleeping medication which at first helped, but after a little while the effects started veening off and she was back to square one.
In 2019 when I came back home from New York I shared my story about Maggie and the sleeping meditation and my friend decided to give it a go. She felt she had nothing to lose. To help her I recorded the guided meditation for her and she started listening to it. Already after the first night she had managed to fall asleep within just a few minutes. For a couple of months she continued listening to the meditation and continued to fall asleep within a short period of time. She even got to a point where she no longer needed listening to the guided meditation, as she had taught her brain how to sleep again. For 3 years my friend wasn’t able to sleep and was taking strong sleeping meditation - today she is no longer taking sleeping meditation and she has been able to sleep since January 2020 which has helped tremendously in her healing process. She said to me the other day that now she’s actually looking forward to going to bed at night as she knows that she will be able to sleep right away.
These stories about Maggie and my friend are just a few of the people this technique has helped and it makes me so excited that you now know it too. Perhaps you have trouble with insomnia or know someone who has and maybe this will be able to help you too. My hope is that this technique gets shared as much as possible and that more people will be able to sleep at night.
To make the world a better place we have to be in balance ourselves and our sleep is one of the most valuable and vital things that the body needs. If you decide to try this out and you’ve had a positive experience with this meditation I would love to hear from you.
I wish you all the best and hope that you’ve found this podcast episode helpful. Thank you for being you. I want you to know that you make a huge difference in this world.
Lots of love