SINGLE HEMISPHERIC SLEEP:
Persons in dangerous occupations, military on deployment, law enforcement and fire fighters have a history of being alert while sleeping. When anyone is in a new or unfamiliar location, is worried and/or does not feel safe or secure, they cannot relax. These situations are created when only one of the brain’s two hemispheres sleep at resting time. One hemisphere may remain awake in a “sleep alert mode” as a self-defense mechanism. This is considered an instinctive trait, not necessarily a learned one. Stress from life and work impacting the body interrupts a person’s ability to relax and sleep. The relaxation process you will learn through this lesson to eliminate your single hemispheric sleep deprivation habit is a positive step in taking care of your body.
SIDE EFFECTS OF SINGLE HEMISPHERIC SLEEP: |
Anyone who has a history of single hemispheric sleep may be sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation may cause serious side effects. Side effects include:
- An increased risk to type 2 diabetes – the body may not respond correctly to insulin
Inferior decision making
* Decisions making is slower
* Decisions are less accurate
* The person becomes less inhibited
* They are more impulsive
* There is less control with management and productivity
- Defective motor skills – lowered concentration on tasks and/or slower reaction time.
- Reduced memory – less attention to self and surroundings
- Impaired cleansing and removal of toxic molecules within the brain’s nervous system reducing brain health.
Reaction to emotional stimuli increases resulting in uncontrolled feelings of:
* Metabolism rate change – Metabolic rate tends to decrease with lack of sleep
* Weight gain - the body tries to regain lost energy through food
* Cardiovascular problems/disease – blood pressure and heart rate increases
* Sadness, happiness etc.
- Hormone levels may become unbalanced – elevation of estrogen levels.
- Natural production of collagen decreases.
- Skin affected – during sleep, skin cells are normally repaired/refreshed.
- Skin breakouts occur. Skin appears older with excess wrinkling.
- Defective immune system – body defenses are lowered.
Optical system/sight is affected.Micro sleep becomes more common – persons fall asleep anyplace, even while driving.
* Eye muscles are not easily controlled.
* Focusing on close objects becomes difficult.
* Eyes do not work together tracking objects.
* Double vision may occur.
The relaxation method is written below. The first time you go through the process, it should be read aloud by a family member or friend. Eventually, you’ll be able to buy a CD with this relaxation process from this webpage. In the meantime, have your reader using a calm and steady voice slowly read the instructions. Persons using this relaxation method claim to sleep more deeply than normal and are more refreshed upon awakening. It is hoped both brain hemispheres sleep.
WARNING: Do not attempt to smoke or drink during this relaxation process. If you are in a dangerous situation or outdoors where there could be predators, do NOT try this relaxation process. You must be in a safe location. Do not leave anything cooking on a stove or leave children unattended. When both hemispheres sleep, you may not be aware of noises, approaching people or animals. When you are rested, you will naturally awaken by yourself. Let family know you may need to be touched on the hand or arm to be awakened. This methodology is a way to relax your body so that you may rest in a deep sleep with, hopefully, both brain hemispheres at rest. If you have not yet purchased the sleep CD, tell your reader to read everything slowly in order for you to have time to complete the suggested action.
Your clothing should be loose. You should be barefoot. The first time you accomplish this relaxation technique, it is best to do so on a hard surface. If you can easily lie down on the floor without harming yourself, please do so. In the future, lie on your bed when you go through the procedures. In training your body to relax, after the first time you may be able to go through the steps without being coached. Each time you will do so more easily. Eventually, you will be able to think the word, “relax,” and be in a totally relaxed state.
Lie on your back. Take a few moments to align your body comfortably. The spinal cord and column should be straight, the neck and head relaxed. The arms are loose at your sides, hands relaxed. Legs may be slightly open, let your bare feet fall to the sides with no effort. Once you are comfortable, close your eyes. Try to clear your mind of daytime worries. Now is the time to take care of you. You are ready to begin listening. Be prepared to sleep 8-13 hours and awaken refreshed. Bless you in this healthy endeavor.
TEXT TO BE READ ALOUD BY ANOTHER PERSON
SLOWLY IN A CALM AND EVEN VOICE:
VAGUS NERVE STIMULATION:
First we will set your vagus nerve into action. This complex torso nerve connects many parts of the body from brain to colon. Its healing powers are easily activated and can improve body sleep and mood. By activating it, chronic pain can often be relieved as the body partially relaxes. There is no medicine or body manipulation. Discovered in the 1800’s, the vagus nerve is easy to activate.
To stimulate the vagus nerve system, take in a slow deep breath through your nose, hold it one second, let it out slowly through your mouth. Do this nine more times. Each time try to include more air. Two, breathe in, hold, and breathe out. Three, breathe in, hold, and breathe out. Four, breathe in, hold, and breathe out. Five, breathe in, hold, and breathe out. Six, breathe in, hold, and breathe out. Seven, breathe in, hold, and breathe out. Eight, breathe in, hold, and breathe out. Nine, breathe in, hold, and breathe out. Ten, breathe in, hold, and breathe out.
MUSCLE RELAXATION FOR SLEEP:
Now, you’re ready to begin muscle relaxation of your body. Mentally picture yourself on a cloud. Let all sensations of earth go. Don’t think about the floor again. Try to become so relaxed that you don’t feel the floor under you. Let yourself feel as light as air.
Without moving your body, put your concentration on your right hand. Beginning with your little finger, let the muscles within that finger relax. When you feel it relax, move to the ring finger. Let the muscles relax. Move to the middle finger. Allow it to relax. Then move to the index finger and allow it to relax. Move to the thumb which is more complex with larger muscles. Allow your thumb to relax. Allow the muscles in the palm to relax. Next, concentrate on muscles, tendons and cartilage on the back of the hand. Let them relax. Don’t move that hand again. Keep it in a fully relaxed position.
Turn your concentration to your left hand. Beginning with your little finger, let the muscles within that finger relax. When you feel it relax, move to the ring finger. Let the muscles relax. Move to the middle finger. Allow it to relax. Then move to the index finger and allow it to relax. Move to the thumb which is more complex with larger muscles. Allow your thumb to relax. Allow the muscles in the palm to relax. Next, concentrate on muscles, tendons and cartilage on the back of the hand. Let them relax. Don’t move that hand again. Keep it in a fully relaxed position.
Think upon your left wrist. There are several bones in the wrist with much connective tissue to allow for complex moves. All muscle and tissue within the wrist top and bottom must be relaxed. Think about where the fingers are connected and relax that tissue. Muscles around the wrist in any direction must be relaxed. It should be so relaxed that you don’t feel the wrist anymore.
Think upon the right wrist. Again, think upon the bones and connective tissue within the wrist. All muscle and tissue within the wrist’s top and bottom must be relaxed. Think about where the fingers are connected and relax that tissue. Muscles around the wrist in any direction must be relaxed. It should be so relaxed that you don’t feel the wrist anymore. Both your hands and wrists are floating. You may not be able to feel them. Think of them being relaxed and pain free.
Keep your body relaxed. Take deep breaths as needed.
We’ll next relax the area on your right arm between your wrist and elbow. There are complex muscles within it, those on the surface differing from interior muscles. The muscles are connected at each end to either the hand and wrist or the elbow.
Think to yourself that all those tendons from the hand have to be relaxed. The muscles around the lower arm have to be relaxed. Between the elbow, wrist and finger tips, all tissue should be in a relaxed position. Do not move your body. Think: relax muscles. Relax muscles. Relax muscles. Let all tension flow from the muscles. Relax the muscles.
Turn your attention to your left lower arm. Think of all the muscles which make up the lower arm… the tendons of all the fingers and the thumb connecting to muscles which must be relaxed. There are muscles all around the lower arm which you use for many motions. All need to be relaxed. Think to yourself, relax all cartilage, tendons and muscle. Relax. Let there be no effort. Relax all tissue. Relax from finger tips to elbow.
At this point, we’re going to relax the upper left arm beginning at the elbow. The elbow has many connective tissues surrounding it to hold it in place. The biceps are two muscles which work together to help move the lower arm. It is the bicep in the upper arm we wish to relax first. Think of either end of the bicep muscles. Try to relax the connective tissue at the lower end and the bicep muscles themselves. With your arm in a loose position, the bicep is stretched somewhat but not in tension. Let it relax so there is no tension or feeling of the muscle. It should be so relaxed that it will have little or no feeling. Concentrate on relaxing the upper part of the bicep where it connects around the shoulder.
Concentrate now on the upper right arm, beginning at the elbow. With your arm loose in a straight position, as in relaxing the other arm, think of all the connective tissue and muscle. Let it relax so there is no tension or feeling of any individual muscle. Your arm should be so relaxed, it will have little or no feeling.
Think of them as relaxing or letting go and hanging loosely. You are not trying to lift anything. Don’t move your arms. They are at rest. Visualize your arms floating just above the floor with no weight on them … no gravity pulling them down.
Visualize the large muscle in the upper chest on both sides of the sternum as it extends toward the neck. Think the word relax and let that muscle drop toward your rib cage. The shoulder may feel as though it moves toward the floor with gravity as you are no longer supporting it. Again, relax the muscles over the front and top of the chest up toward the shoulders. Let the shoulders relax. They are at rest. You are not moving any muscles. You are not holding anything. You are just thinking of relaxing.
Concentrating, think of relaxing all muscles at the front and back of your upper torso. Let there be no tension from the center of your chest and around your body to your spine. Concentrate on relaxing connective tissue and muscles. Some of these muscles go over the shoulder blades at your back and toward the back of your neck. Since your neck is not moving, there should be no tension of that muscle mass. Let it relax on either side of your spine.
You have many muscles extending from your spinal column and across the back on both sides. Think of those toward the top of the back. One by one, let your mind think of relaxing those muscles as your visualization moves down the spine. By the time you get to the bottom of the spine, most all the muscles of the back should be in a relaxation mode. If not, feel free to repeat the relaxation down the spine.
You have muscles below your spine which support your buttocks. Several cross the buttocks and work with your body when walking or lifting or moving. These are the next target. Your buttocks are resting with weight against them. Think to relax all muscles in the buttocks area. So you have your shoulders, back and buttocks relaxed.
At this time, return your thoughts to the neck. You have numerous muscles surrounding the neck which helps hold the head when in a vertical position. At this time, let your head rest against the floor with no effort. Relax all neck muscles front, back and sides. Think of your face. You have over 30 muscles which cause many expressions. They all have to relax. Think of the forehead. Relax it. The muscles around the eyes need to relax. Below the eyes, the cheeks and lower jaw and chin all have muscles to relax. Relax them again. They are so used to being tense, they will go right back to a tense state. All the muscles on your face are to be let go so they relax toward the floor. Relax your face again.
Move down the front of the body making sure the chest area is relaxed. Below it is the abdomen which has thick muscles supporting it. They need to be relaxes. Let them fall toward the back. Relax all the abdomen.
Let’s now relax the legs, both at the same time. Start with the thighs. The buttocks are relaxed. Now relax any thigh muscles near the buttocks and around the legs to the front of the thighs. There should be no pressure or tenseness near the hip. All upper leg muscles should be relaxed.
Where the thighs connect to the knees is much connective tissue, especially supporting the knees. The muscles above and below the knees needs to be relaxed, including the connective tissue surrounding the knees. Let that muscle relax toward the floor. Feel it relax downward.
The lower leg has much larger calf muscles than elsewhere. They are easy to rest and relax. From the knees to the ankles, relax any muscle in a state of tension. Then let all the muscles relax. Let the feet fall to where gravity pulls them. All muscles surrounding the ankles are to be relaxed. Around the foot and toes, relax the muscles until both legs are at total rest.
Think once again of your face muscles. Relax them again.
Your body should be at rest. At this point, there should be no tenseness in your musculature. Your body should be ready to sleep or already asleep. If not, without changing your posture or moving, have the instructions read again.
Whether you sleep or not, your body should be relaxed and mind at peace. If you started within a safe environment, both sides of your brain/mind should be relaxed. If you fall asleep during this process, hopefully, you should have both hemispheres of your brain/mind at rest. With your body also at rest, you should sleep naturally in a deep sleep.
The average adult will sleep from seven to thirteen hours on a good night.
If you were listening to a CD, let it run. Don’t worry about it.
A person reading the instructions, after the second time, should quietly leave you to rest. Once at rest or asleep, you are free to move your body into any rest position which will allow total rest.
Each time you go through this guided relaxation, you should be able to do so faster. After a few times, you will no longer need the instructions read aloud as you will know what to do and how to do it. Improvise if necessary. The main goal is to get you out of the sleep alert mode to total rest when you are in a safe place. Do this especially when you are having difficulty getting to sleep. Eventually, you will be so accustomed to this relaxation process, you can just say to yourself, “relax,” and your body will do so.
If you have any questions, please send a comment using the form at the bottom of the page.
Best wishes from Irene Baron for precious sleep.
Please share this page with those military veterans who have been deployed into combat areas and others with critical occupations which put them at risk.
They may find this site also at the irenebaron.com blog index.