Can't Sleep? 7 Causes of Insomnia During Spiritual Awakening
It's very common during a spiritual awakening to experience bouts of insomnia.
You might think the opposite would be true as you start to wake up to truth and see through illusions - shouldn't you be sleeping more soundly than ever?
Well actually, from all the students I've helped over the years, suffering from insomnia is definitely one of the most common symptoms of spiritual awakening.
Here are the reasons you may be having trouble sleeping and how to cure it;
#1. Heightened Perception
It's well-documented that during a spiritual awakening many of your perceptions are heightened.
As you start to live life more from the sensory realm (as opposed to the thinking realm) you will often find yourself bemused and astounded by things you've never noticed before.
I remember being flabbergasted that I could hear the sound of dogs' feet running on grass after awakening despite taking him out for hundreds of walks prior and never noticing.
Physical sensations are also heightened as is the visual sphere;
You may find yourself seeing things in an entirely different light and catching glimpses of things out of the corner of your eye.
Everything is widened - the field of vision, the field of sound, taste, touch and smell.
"The Entire Field of Perception Gets Opened Up..."
This can create a huge sensory overload when the mind is not busy and you're just lying in bed at night trying to get to sleep.
I can now clearly hear my heart beating and blood pumping through my ears, for example.
This didn't happen before awakening and this new heightened awareness takes some getting used to.
The cure for this is simply to focus on one sensation you do notice. Focus solely on this one aspect and it can help quieten the mind, remind you of your state of awareness and help you drift off.
I regularly drift off to sleep at night listening to the heart beat.
Here's another cause of insomnia which might cause you problems sleeping...
#2. Things from the Past Rising Up
Spiritual awakening is a two-fold movement.
You are experiencing a new dawn of life and a new way of viewing and moving in the world.
But at the same time there is all this "past stuff" which can start surging up.
It doesn't happen for everyone but from my guiding work I hear from many students who experience surges of past emotions, memories and events rising up.
This can occur in the dream state or sometimes in that near-sleep state just before you drop off.
It's as if your awakening has ripped the lid off something that has been artificially pushed down all your life.
Initially there is a great sense of relief that this no longer needs to be held in place.
But it can also enable deeply-stored past experiences and emotions to rise up.
"Things You Haven't Thought About for Many Years Can Resurface..."
Things hiding in your subconscious can start bubbling up and it can be very disorientating and disturbing if you let it be.
The cure for this one is to stay firm in the "seat of awareness" watching it all happen.
You certainly don't want to fall back into old patterns of pushing things down, pushing them away or ignoring them.
This is all part of the awakening process so just let it all be.
Don't try to analyze, push away, hold onto or pass judgement on any of it.
Let it all just flow out of you as it's supposed to - unopposed, un-clung-to and unjudged.
Breathe through it and let it all go.
Even if you do manage to get to sleep after a bout of awakening insomnia you quite often wake up feeling less-refreshed than before.
One of the reasons for this is...
#3. Dreams Seem More Real
Spiritual awakening is so-named because it's similar to waking from a dream where you see the truth of reality for the first time.
Because of this you start to question everything - life, the world, reality, your identity and everything else in between.
You sense the world is not quite what you thought it was before and this can sometimes lead to an incorrect assumption that the dream-state and the waking state have an equal amount of reality in them.
Many people get caught up in trying to analyze and take messages from the symbols and happenings they see in dreams.
Dreams during this phase of awakening can take on a more real quality but it's worth remembering...
"Dreams Are No More Real Than Any Other Thoughts..."
As such - don't hold onto them, don't try to stop them, don't try to remember them, don't try to analyze, interpret or judge them.
They just are.
What happens in a dream means no more than what happens in the waking state - it's only the mind which adds the extra layer of illusion called "interpretation".
You may even find that your realisation of awareness and seeing through illusions carries over into dreams - I regularly find myself studying colours and level of detail inside dreams, marvelling at how "real" it is.
Lucid dreams can occur too - where you control what happens - this is an interesting phenomenon but again, has no implied meaning or interpretation.
In short: don't get stuck on dreams, if your awakening is teaching you anything it is not to cling on what has already passed and this includes the dream state.
#4. The Mind is Panicking About the End of Its Tyranny
Depending on where you are in the spiritual awakening journey (take this awakening test to find out) you may experience the death throes of the mind.
The mind is not you and the thoughts are not you.
This is one of the biggest realizations of a true spiritual awakening.
It is merely a function of the human form.
And, as such, its purpose is to protect itself and ensure it survives and thrives.
When it senses it is under threat and not being paid heed to any longer (though of course practical thought is still acted upon) it sees this as dangerous and reacts accordingly.
This is why you can experience thoughts of impending doom, death, severe illness and oblivion.
Hardly the happiest bunch of thoughts to be bouncing around a person's head!
But all of this is perfectly normal and perfectly okay because none of it is you or yours.
The mind's purpose is to protect the human form but, thankfully, now we live in an age without sabre-toothed tigers most of us are fortunate not to be faced with life or death scenarios every day.
The mind doesn't realize this.
As you come to appreciate that...
"You Are the Watcher of the Mind, the Awareness in Which Everything Else Takes Place..."
There is a distancing from thought.
Not a manufactured state where you try to ignore the mind or still the mind - just a degree of separation where it's seen clearly it's not you or yours.
The mind will still churn out worried and protective thoughts 24/7 and these can become worse during awakening because true spiritual awakening takes place beyond the mind.
It is a deep knowing and remembrance of something which the mind cannot contain or comprehend.
Just remain as awareness (you don't have a choice anyway!) and this too shall pass...
But it's not just these type of erratic thoughts you'll be faced with.
You might also find stressful thoughts and some...
#5. Uncertainty About the Future (Job, Money etc.)
At some point during a spiritual awakening, when many lies and illusions are starting to fade away, many people find themselves confronted with stark realities about their life.
You might begin to question what your motives are, what your true purpose is and why you ever did what you did in the past.
The knee-jerk reaction can be to jump ship out of everything and run to the forest for a fresh start with your new-found knowledge.
But as the famous zen saying goes;
"Before enlightenment - carry water, chop wood. After enlightenment - carry water, chop wood."
In one sense everything has completely changed. But in another sense nothing was ever happening or changing.
This doesn't stop the mind from panicking and feeling it has to step in to save the day.
All stress arises simply because you are arguing with what is.
"If You Fight Reality You Will Always be Stressed..."
Much of this stress can come when thoughts start popping up judging your current job and your previous plans.
You might start worrying about how you're going to make a living, post-awakening.
Now you've seen what you have, how can you possibly continue working and living in the same way?
This is how the mind works and it seems as if everything must change and you can feel this urge to step into the abyss of nothingness.
But with this comes a fear of what might be - how will your new awakened-life look?
What will you do? How will you pay the bills?
Will you have to suck up the illusion and just pretend like nothing has happened and you've not seen what you've seen?
All these thoughts and more can weigh heavily on the mind when you're tossing and turning suffering with insomnia.
The way through all this is to remember you are not the mind and to recall the insights of your awakening journey;
You are not the past, you are not the future, you don't control any of this - you can only BE right now in this moment.
Take a deep breath and bring yourself to your senses.
Perhaps feel the soft sheets on your skin or the sound of the wind or rain outside.
Bring yourself to your senses and step out of the mind.
It's not your job to stop or control the thoughts - it's merely to recognize that they are not you.
Observe yes, get involved - no.
Feel your way back to presence.
Despite doing this you may still feel you can't sleep because of...
#6. Worrying About How Loved Ones Will React to Your Spiritual Awakening
We've already spoken about how to approach thoughts and the mind here.
But these type of deeply-personal and intimate thoughts have a particular knack at drawing you in and feeling more real and pressing than others.
You start worrying that your partner might not understand what you're going through.
Can you even bring up the subject of your awakening with your family members, is this the right thing to do?
"How on Earth Are You Going to Talk About All This?"
How will you find the words?
Is there anyone else out there who's going through this who could understand and help you with all of this?
It's thoughts like this which can often keep you awake at night during awakening as the mind tries to grapple with the enormous shift in perspective that's been witnessed.
All of this is occurring in the mind only. It's not reality.
It's only thought and thought is not real.
All these imagined discussions, happenings and outcomes are just that - imagination.
Most of the time these kind of conversations never spring forth anyway. Life goes on and it's perfectly okay as it, whatever happens.
This is all unfolding as it's supposed to - trust in this. Know this because you ARE this.
Which brings us to the last possible cause of your insomnia...
#7. Conflicts Still Arising Between Two Worlds
This can be a tough one to comprehend and accept because you've seen something in spiritual awakening which you initially feel will reorient your entire world.
Momentarily it does.
But this doesn't always "stick" and you can find yourself relapsing back into old patterns, old ways of thinking and old habits.
This in turn can lead to many thought-conflicts which can keep you awake;
- Am I really going through a spiritual awakening?
- Am I kidding myself here because I still do such-and-such negative thing?
- If this was really awakening would I even be questioning any of this?
- Why am I still stuck in my head all the time?
- Am I losing my mind here?
- Is all of this just taking place in my head?
This search for ultimate truth, a final answer and a complete breakthough can drive you a little bonkers!
To help you with all these things here's what to do;
Step 1. Go through this spiritual awakening test
Step 2. You'll receive personalized answers and a free awakening guide I've written for you
In love and light,
- Mike Cheney