• Into The Dark (Part 2)

    Posted on December 12, 2015 by in Psychotherapist Rockville MD

    Into The Dark (Part 2)

    Last week I shared with you my experiment in living without electric lights and gadgets during the darkness of December. This week, continuing the theme of embracing the dark, I want to share some sleep research.

    Many people I speak with personally and professionally describe waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to fall back asleep. I myself experienced this pattern especially in the peri-menopausal years. Since we are conditioned to believe that sleeping 8 hours straight is the right way to get a good night’s rest, this night waking disturbs us. Well, be disturbed no more! Sleep researchers are discovering that the natural human sleep cycle, when not influenced by artificial lighting, has two phases–an early sleep phase, followed by an hour or more of wakefulness, followed by a second sleep phase.

    Night waking was the norm for humans before the advent of electric lights! You can read more about this in the two links below. The first link is an abstract of Thomas Wehr’s scholarly research. The second is written with laypeople in mind.

    In Waking Up To The Dark, Clark Strand goes so far as to say that it is in the night waking that humans historically grew closer to their inner selves, souls, and the Divine. If you, like many of us, experience lying awake at night, perhaps you can reframe those hours from “somethings wrong with my sleep” to “it is in the night that I grow closer to the Divine, to Love, to my soul.”

    Here are the links:

    Why is Sleep so Important to Your Physical and Mental Health?


    Embracing the deepening dark and delighting in the light we have,

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