GreenWoods

Sleep Yoga: Conscious During Sleep (Guide)

62 posts in this topic

Being able to remain conscious during all sleep stages is the ultimate skill. This will open doors to almost anything.

- Introduction

When people want to have a deep meditation, they either try to:

  • (A) lower their brainwaves, and thus make their consciousness more non-dual. This includes techniques like: Kriya yoga, trance, hypnosis and the majority of all meditation techniques.
  • (B) directly make their consciousness more non-dual. This includes contemplation and self inquiry. 

When people try to get into lower brainwaves, they usually start from their everyday waking consciousness. This works, but it will take ages (lifetimes for most people) till you get into really deep brainwaves - even if you do very direct techniques like trance.

We already spend 8 hours each day in very deep brainwaves. Why not take advantage of that? So rather than trying to bring lower brainwaves to waking cosnciousness (tirelessly trying to lower your brainwaves during the day), we can try to bring consciousness to lower brainwaves. 

That is sleep yoga.

 

- Benefits of Sleep Yoga

  • All of your dreams will be lucid (2 hours each night)
  • During the rest of the night (light and deep sleep) you can either abide in deep non-dual awareness (by far deeper than any normal meditations), or astral project as much as you like.
  • You gain 8 hours each day (~ 3 000 hours each year)
  • No lapse of consciousness upon physical death.

 

This is obviously very significant for enlightenment. Apart from that, it will benefit you in so many ways. Merely the 2 hours of lucid dreaming each night will radically transform your psyche. Here I wrote about reasons why to bother about OBEs: 

 

- Difficulty

Monks usually require many years of training till they are able to remain conscious during sleep. It takes long because their techniques are not Fire. They usually consist of standard meditation, waking up a couple of times during the night and visualization techniques.

I've lately done a lot of research and experimenting and tried to combine all the hacks and tricks I found. This should make the process a lot quicker.

Before I get to the technique, let's first lay a foundation. (or jump to "Chapter 2: The Technique")

 

  • Chapter 1 : Sleep

- 1. Basics

During the night you go through several sleep cycles, each around 90 minutes long. Sleep cycles consists of:

- N1( light sleep). Only when falling asleep.

- N2 (light sleep):

  • Usually around 50-60% of your sleep.
  • N2 is the ideal sleep stage to wake up from

- N3 (deep sleep = SWS = slow wave sleep):

  • Important for regeneration
  • Around 20-25 % of your sleep.
  • You need typically 60-120 minutes of SWS.
  • defined as having more than 20% of delta brain waves. 
  • Majority of SWS during your first few sleep cycles

- REM  (rapid eye movement) :

  • Here you have most of your dreams
  • brainwaves somewhat similar to your waking state
  • sleep paralysis so you don't act out your dreams
  • 20-25% of your night 
  • you need 60-90 min of REM
  • As the night progresses, each sleep cycle contains more and more REM

A sleep cycle usually begins with N2. Then N3 then N2 again and then REM.

 

- 2. Segmented Sleep

About polyphasic Sleep: https://www.polyphasic.net/introduction-to-polyphasic-sleep .

Segmented sleep means dividing your sleep into 2 segments: See https://www.polyphasic.net/schedules/biphasic/ and https://www.polyphasic.net/schedules/dual-core/ .

SWS peak is usually at 9-12 pm. And REM peak is at 6-9 am. Sleeping during these times means most efficient SWS and REM. More about that here: https://www.polyphasic.net/sleep-mechanics/biological-rhythms/ and here: https://www.polyphasic.net/blog/three-noons-and-their-importance-to-determining-the-shift-in-circadian-rhythms/

 

- 2.1 Benefits of segmented sleep:

  • Having a REM core with little or no SWS is perfect for trying to learn sleep yoga, more on that later
  • You have a heightened likelihood for lucid dreaming during the REM core because of the high REM percentage and the long time awake after your SWS core. You basically have a very long WBTB (wake back to bed). The longer a WBTB, the more effective. 
  • Prolactin surge benefits: https://www.mattressnerd.com/polyphasic-sleep/overviews/segmented-sleep/
  • If you sleep monophasically, you can't cover both SWS and REM peaks. Thus segmented sleep is more efficient.
  • ... therefore you need less total amount of sleep
  • Yogis say that the time at around 3-5 am is most valuable for meditation

If you usually sleep 8 hours, you could schedule a 3 h SWS core and a 4.5 h REM core.

The time between the SWS and REM core should be at least 2 hours. Ideally 3-4 hours. Otherwise your body treats it as interrupted sleep rather than segmented sleep and you don't get all the benefits. More time between your cores also means that you cover more of the SWS and REM peak.

Segmented sleep is not something to do occasionally. You need to do it every night, otherwise you will just be tired and not get all the benefits. Your body needs 1-2 weeks to adapt to the schedule.

Segmented sleep is not necessary, but it can help a lot. Alternatively, you could just sleep for 4-6 hours and then either add a normal WBTB or just go straight to the techniques.

 

- 3. SWS Core

- 3.1 Binaural beats

If you listen to delta binaural beats, you increase the duration and depth (decrease the brainwave frequency even further) of your SWS. For example, in this study ( https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00387/full )   they played 3 Hz delta binaural beats when the subjects were in N2. Thus, some N2 turned into N3. The length of N3 increased by 30% (N3 length of first two nights without binaural beats was 93 min. On the next night, with binaurals, N3 was 126 min). The subjects were probably new to binaural beats. If you have already trained your brain with binaural beats, the effect could possibly be even more drastic.

Using a sleep tracking device might be helpful to keep track of your SWS.

I recommend you try the binaural beats from Jody Hatton. Either on youtube:   

or on his website. you decide the price for a download.

Sleeping with headphones might not be the most comfortable. But it can be worth it. Delta binaural beats are only interesting for your SWS core. Instead of over ear headphones, you could also use headband headphones like these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014T3QLBA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=9td9sm-5xsk-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B014T3QLBA&linkId=82c4b0488d4ece45af2f57a9ea6427c0. they are more comfortable to sleep with. But might have lower quality.

I don't recommend opting for isochronic tones for delta sleep. They do have the benefit of not neading headphones, but they are said to be inefficient to entrain you to delta brainwaves.

- 3.2 Melatonin

Melatonin is important for SWS. How to optimize Melatonin levels:

  • Only red lights 2-3 hours before bed (or no light). You can buy red light. Or wear blue light blocking glasses (preferably should block green light as well) or use apps on your mobile phone and pc (for example "Flux") which filter blue light.
  • Sleep in total darkness. Either buy something to block all light from your windows or just take a huge sheet of black carton and tape it over your window. Thats what I do. It takes around 1 minute each morning and night to tape/remove. You could also use a sleep mask. But then, a small amount of light is still registered by your skin. But that is probably negligible.
  • enough (sun)light during the day.
  • decalcify your pineal gland
  • fasting can increase melatonin levels as well.

- 3.3 Schedule

For our sleep yoga practice, we prefer to have all our SWS during the SWS core. So the REM core can be fully dedicated to Sleep yoga practices.

If you want to get the most out of each night, you also want to have as little light sleep and REM during your SWS core. You want these in your REM core so your REM core is longer and you have more time to practice each night (First we learn to be conscious during light sleep and REM, and only then do we try it during SWS). Depending on your personal SWS needs (which can vary a lot) and depending on how well you can optimize a sleep cycle for maximum SWS, you can choose following SWS core lengths.

  • 6h: easy
  • 4.5h: Healthy and comfortable 
  • 3h: for serious practitioners
  • 1.5h: not recommended 

I think you don't need to strictly schedule according to the 90 min sleep cycle rythm. You can extend it if you want.

A very unrecommended polyphasic sleep schedule - Everyman 4 : https://www.polyphasic.net/schedules/everyman/  - has only one 90 minute SWS core plus 4 short naps for REM. Someone who follows that schedule tries to get all 90 minutes of SWS requirement into the 90 minute core, which is close to impossible. For our use, if you perfectly optimized it and extended the length from 90 to 100-110 minutes, you might be able to get 70-90 min SWS into a 110 min SWS core. But beware, if you shorten your SWS core too much, you risk SWS creeping in to your REM core.

 

- 4. Core Gap

 

- 5. REM Core

-5.1 Basics

Your REM core should ideally consist of only light sleep and REM. Consider:

  • Getting enough SWS during your SWS core
  • Having your REM core during or close after the REM peak
  • Applying tricks for lighter sleep

You will set MANY alarms which wake you up all the time, giving you plenty of opportunitues and optimal conditions to practice.

 

- 5.2 Gamma brain waves

I believe they are the key for being conscious during sleep. Monks have increased gamma acrivity during non-REM sleep: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0073417#pone-0073417-g001 .  The significance of 40 Hz for lucid dreaming:  https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.zmescience.com/medicine/mind-and-brain/lucid-dreaming-electrical-trigger-042342/amp/ . I guess, the main difference of brainwaves during sleep, between a sleep yogi and a normal person, is gamma activity. The more gamma (and beta) you have, the more alert/aware you are. So if we want to be aware during sleep, we need more gamma during sleep.

How to have more gamma during sleep:

  • gamma brainwave entrainment audios during sleep.  
  • Applying the tools for having"Lighter Sleep" (more on that later)
  • day-time meditation practices (more on that later)

 

- 5.3 Schedule

  • If you are concerned about your sleep, then do the practices only for 1-3h, and then turn off all alarms, go back to sleep and sleep as long as your body wants.
  • Depending on how easily you tend to fall asleep on any given day, you spontaneuosly decide for the right amount of "lighter sleep" tools.

 

- 6. Lighter Sleep

- 6.1 Benefits

  • You are closer to the awake/asleep threshold. That means a) it is easier to retain consciousness while falling asleep and b) it is easier to stay in that state. The deeper your sleep gets, the greater the risk of losing consciousness
  • decreased risk of SWS creeping in
  • increased likelihood for DILDs, WILDs and DEILDs
  • better dream recall 

- 6.2 How to have lighter sleep:

- 6.2.1 Body Position:

  • Level1: Turn in bed 180 degrees. So your head is now where your feet used to be.
  • Level 2: lie on the floor.
  •  Level 3: Be in an inclined position. for example of 60 degrees. https://www.theminimalists.com/drew/
  •  Level 4: Sleep sitting upright with head support.
  •  Level 5: Upright with no head support. That is particularly good, because everytime you fall asleep, your head drops and wakes you up. Thus it is easier to get closer to the awake/asleep threshold.

- 6.2.2 Noise

  • Tv or music.
  •  listen to a hypnosis audios about falling asleep.

 

- 6.2.3 Gamma brainwave entrainment:

- 6.2.3 Discomfort.

- 6.2.4 Alarm clocks

  • Level 1: Every 15-30 min. It turns itself off. So you have a lower likelihood of waking up if you are in a somewhat deeper sleep. 
  • Level 2: Every 8-12 min. Alarm needs to be manually turned off. (you press snooze. So it will ring in a few minutes again)
  • Level 3: Every 3-8 min. Alarm needs to be manually turned off

Some alarm clock apps are able to play the alarm through your headphones only.

- 6.2.5 Light: 

  • Level 1: Leave on some red light
  • Level 2: Remove your curtains from the windows just before your REM core
  • Level 3: Turn on artificial light.

Light will have a negative impact on your melatonin levels. In terms of melatonin, we are most concerned about it's effects on SWS sleep. So light after your SWS sleep is relatively fine. It is recommended that one spends 8-10 hours in darkness (or at least red light rather than blue light) each day. So if you turn off normal lighting 3 h before your SWS core, then have a 3 h SWS core, followed by a 3 h core gap, you have 9h.

- 6.2.6 Others:

  • Intention 
  • uncomfortable temperature 

 

 

  • Chapter 2: The Technique

Our approach consists of:

  • SWS Core
  • Core Gap
  • REM Core + Alarm Clocks 
  • and there you practice "Conscious Falling Asleep"

 

- 1. Getting yourself closer to sleep

Some tips:

 

- 2. Awake/Asleep Threshold Tools

Everything I listed under "Lighter Sleep" can be helpful to remain conscious during the awake/asleep threshold. Particularly powerful is:

  • Holding up your arm vertically, ellbow resting on the mattress.
  • Sleeping sitting without head support.

When you fall asleep, your arm or head will sink/fall down and wake you up.

 

- 3. Deepen your Trance

When trying to fall asleep, you are basically in trance. When you deepen your trance, you get your body closer to sleep. But apart from that it also alters your consciousness in a different way (than just using normal tips like those listed under "getting yourself closer to sleep") which can be helpful for conscious falling asleep.

- Tips for deepening your trance:

  • Falling sensation. Either visualize how you are somewhere else - in a visualized body - and experience a falling sensation there (literally falling, going down steps, elevator, etc...) or 'stay' with your consciousness in your physical body and visualize the falling sensation there (I personally prefer that). Try to visualize the sensation you have in your gut when being on a roller coster.

 

  • Use Hypnosis. Here I wrote in detail about hypnosis (keep in mind, when I wrote older posts, I had less understanding): 

 

  • Use your Hypnotic Triggers. You can anchor every state of consciousness. so for example anchor being sleepy with the word "sleepy", or anchor going into a deep trance with visualizing going downstairs. Hypnotic Triggers are like key words for your subconscious that tell it what state of consciousness to produce.

 

  • Visualize it into being. Visualize how you are in a very deep trance. Visualize having no more body sensations and being in the void. It's hard to expplain how exactly to do it, but it works.

 

  • Visualize how you are expanding. Expand your consciousness to include your room, then house, etc. It is said that this produces more theta brainwaves 

 

 

  • Fractionation: A hypnotic induction technique. The idea is to get out of trance and then immediately go back down. If done skillfully, you will end up deeper than where you started.  One way to do it is to count from 1 to 3 (feeling how you are getting more out of trance with every number), open your eyes, count down from 3 to 1 (feeling how you are getting deeper), and closing your eyes again.

 

  • Dissociation from the body. Some possibilities:
  1. Pretend that you are lying in bed upside down. Your head where  your feet used to be. Till you are actually convinced.
  2. The axis going from your feet to your head. Visualize turning around that axis. Like you are rolling in bed. 
  3. Visualize how you are in a visualized body in your room. Turn around and look at your physical body

 

  • Try to induce the sensations of your body:
  1. becoming heavy. 
  2. quickly shrinking, expanding, shrinking, expanding, ....
  3. feeling strange 
  4. becoming weightless
  5. having no sensations
  6. melting with the room
  7. fading out of existence

 

  • Completely surrender. And use some of your non-dual hypnotic triggers

 

  • Visualize how you are in a visualized body somewhere. For example in your kitchen. Try to immerse yourself in these visualizations as much as possible. This produces deep theta brainwaves. And the more often you change your environment (particularly using doors, floors, etc) the more theta brainwaves are produced. So they say at least.

 

  • some say looking up with your eyes to the 3rd eye helps

 

  • Amnesia: Try to forget your body. Forget the physical universe

 

  • Pretend like you are moving your astral arm. And you could try any OBE exit technique

 

All of these could also induce an OBE. If they do, great, but their actual purpose is to help in conscious falling asleep.

 

- 4. Anchors

In order to remain conscious while your body falls asleep, it's recommended to have an anchor to focus on. (In past posts I used the word "anchor" as being a trigger for a state of consciousness. To avoid confusion, I use in this post "hypnotic trigger" for that instead). 

- Anchors:

  • any mantra works but for our purpose I would use sth like "mind awake, body asleep" so you also benefit from its affirmative effect.
  • Awareness itself. just try to remain conscious
  • Any trance deepeners
  • The True Self
  • Hypnagogic images or sounds
  • counting
  • your breath
  • chakras
  • any sensations 
  • visualizations

 

- 5. FILD

Finger induced Lucid Dreaming. It is usually used as a form of DEILD (or WILD) in order to induce a lucid dream. The technique is very effective at keeping you awake while your body falls asleep. Lucid dreamers use it to lucid dream, but we can just as well use it for general conscious falling asleep. I actually believe that this might be the key for conscious falling asleep (in combination with the other points I wrote).

You alternate slightly moving your middle and index finger of one hand. As if playing piano. The movement must be extremely tiny. Just keep doing it and decrease the range of motion. Eventually your fingers shouldn't be moving any more at all (or only less than a millimeter). But the information to move is still delivered to your fingers. The tendons and muscles might be moving or tensing slightly. You find more detailed tutorials on the internet, like:  https://www.dreamviews.com/induction-techniques/36683-finger-induced-lucid-dream-fild.html And on reddit are countless FILD threads as well, including impressive success stories.

You could say FILD, is just another anchor. But I believe it is more powerful than other anchors. Actually moving a body part seems to keep the mind more awake (perhaps by activating an additional/different brain region). And the movement is so tiny that it doesn't prevent your body from falling asleep.

For the purpose of lucid dreaming, FILD is usually only done for 20-120 seconds (then you should just fall asleep and try later again). But we will just keep wiggling until we made the transition.

 

- 6. Reviewing the keys

The following points are the most significant. Most monks are not aware of them, that's why we can achieve sleep yoga quicker.

  • REM core without SWS
  • MANY alarm clocks
  • Gamma brainwave training
  • Reverse Blinking 
  • awake/asleep threshold tools (hand up, sitting + no head support)
  • Trance deepeners
  • FILD 

 

Our goal is that the body falls asleep, while retaining consciousness. For that to happen the body must be tired (which is achieved by the many alarm clocks, when they wake you up, your body is still in sleep mode and wants to return as quickly as possible. And by reverse blinking, trance deepeners and by sleep deprivation, in case you end up being sleep deprived) while your mind must be alert (which is achieved through the "lighter sleep" tools and anchors). To achieve that, some astral projectors, would go for one night without sleep (body tired) and then trink coffee (mind alert) before going to sleep the next day.

 

- 7.  Simplified Technique Overview

Upon waking you do either of these (or a combination):

  • Just try to remain conscious while your body falls asleep
  • awake/asleep threshold tools
  • Trance deepeners
  • focus on anchors
  • FILD

 

- 8. Tips 

  • You can also experiment with using strong intention. Jus don't allow your mind to fall asleep. 
  • You need balance between concentrating too tightly and too loosely
  • If you notice you are about to lose consciousness, open your eyes. Regain consciousness and then close them while using your hypnotic triggers. This sudden fractionation could be enough to send your body one step closer to sleep whlile retaining consciousness 
  • You can switch between sitting and lying during your REM core
  • Reverse FILD: Suddenly stop the finger movements and pretend you fell asleep. https://www.dreamviews.com/wake-initiated-lucid-dreams-wild/101305-reverse-fild-technique-100%-success-out-4-attempts-so-far.html
  • When you can't fall asleep during your REM core, keep being conscious and see it as awareness practice, thus no time is wasted
  • It's very easy to end up half-heartedly doing the technique upon waking up and then very quickly fall back asleep. When you wake up, strengthen your intention and determination first.

 

 

  • Chapter 3: Daily Practices

- 1. Conscious falling asleep (during your REM core)

- 2. Perfect concentration

When you are very alert and have perfect concentration you produce more gamma brainwaves. Spend every day 5-10 min of perfect forced concentration. Don't allow thoughts. Don't allow anything other than what you are focusing on. 

I usually focus on being extremely alert. Alert of whether there are thoughts. If a thought appears immediately cut it off. Don't even allow subtle thoughts. 

You can also listen to gamma brainwave entrainment at the same time.

- 3. Relaxed awareness 

Spend every day 5-15 min doing relaxed awareness. The objective is to stay aware. And allow everything to happen.  Allow all thoughts and passively observe them. That's alpha brainwaves (and some theta).  But don't lose your awareness. Aim for zero lapse of awareness. That's the gamma (and beta) brainwaves.

This is the sate of mind you need during conscious falling asleep. Relaxed and passive, yet uninterrupted awareness.

 

- 4. ADA periods

Doing all day awareness (ada) surely helps for conscious falling asleep but I don't think ada is worth the effort. Effort/Benefit ratio is poor. 

Instead, I recommend you do ada only for a short period - like 2 to 10 minutes - around 1-3 times a day. Perhaps while driving, cooking, exercising. Just do your normal activity while trying to stay conscious.

 

- 5. Binaural beats during the day

All the above practices develop your gamma brainwave skills. Additionally you can listen to gamma (and other frequencies) brainwave entrainment while doing daily activities like reading, cooking, etc. I wrote about that here: 

 

- 6. LOA Visualizations 

Visualize everyday for 1-3 min how you are successful at sleep yoga. Know that this is true. If your memories say otherwise, regard them as false memories.

You can apply all LOA stuff for sleep yoga. Here i mentioned some more LOA stuff: 

 

 

- 7. Trance 

Trance practice is not required but can be helpful.

- 7.1 Procedure

  1. Strengthen your intention and LOA visualize how your session will unfold
  2. Get to your awake/tired sweet spot: (Reverse Blinking, hypnotic trigger, suggestions)
  3. Body relaxation: body scan, progressive muscle relaxation, tensing/relaxing muscles, visualize a light relaxing your muscles. You could also stretch, move and massage some muscles beforehand)
  4. Mental Relaxation
  5. Hypnotic suggestions
  6. Trance Deepeners and using your Hypnotic Triggers

Listening to Guided Hypnosis or freestyle.

0-60 min each day, as you believe necessary.

 

- 7.2 Tips

  • body and mind relaxation is crucial. it is the foundation for altered sates. Don't wave them aside, thinking they are not worth doing. I made that mistake and wasted a lot of time therefore. Once I realized the importance of body relaxation, I spent a few days - 2-4 hours each day - only trying to relax the body. 
  • The objective is to get alpha and theta brainwaves. So practice when you are tired, because then it is far easier to enter these brainwaves. Find your sweet spot, of tired enough but still able to resist falling asleep.
  • Exhaustion. It has a similiar effect like being tired. Hypnotic suggestions are more easily absorbed and it is easier to surrender into trance. Here I wrote more about exhaustion, including it's value in terms of enlightenment: 
  • Use hypnosis (see my hypnosis thread)
  • Use brainwave entrainment 

 

 

  • Chapter 4: Stages of Progress

 

- Stage 1

Getting close to the awake/asleep threshold for brief moments, but then being immediately snapped back

- Stage 2

Able to stay conscious while the body falls asleep. But after a few moments, you either lose consciousness or are snapped back.

- Stage 3 

Able to reliable stay conscious while the body falls asleep (during your REM core of course) and smoothly transition into a lucid dream.

- Stage 4

Able to enter the void. No, or almost no sensations of your body left

- Stage 5

Able to remain in this void during your whole REM core (both light sleep and REM)

- Stage 6

You stopped your segmented sleep schedule. You can retain consciousness while sinking into deep sleep, but are not able to hold it there for long

- Stage 7

Able to stay conscious during the whole night

- Stage 8

Able to enter epsilon brainwaves during deep sleep without losing consciousness 

- Stage 9

Able to enter the exact same depth, in your meditation during the day, when you are not tired.

- Stage 10

Able to do that in less than 5 minutes.

- Stage 11

Able to do that while sitting

- Stage 12

Able to do that while walking. You are able to split your consciousness. One part is astral projecting on Mars, while a small portion of your consciousness remains in your physical body, cleaning the kitchen.

 

 

  • Chapter 5: Resources and Notes

- 1. Resources

There is not much information out there about Dream Yoga.

- In this post I mentioned it a bit: 

 

- Books:

  • Dream Yoga by Andrew Holecek
  • The Tibetan yogas of dream and sleep by Tenzin Wangyal
  • Dreaming Yourself Awake by B. Alan Wallace.

- Forum posts: https://www.dreamviews.com/beyond-dreaming/142072-exploring-delta-sleep.html

- A Website: http://www.swamij.com/yoga-nidra.htm

 

- 2. Depth of Sleep Yoga

Some reports of being conscious during sleep, don't appear as fantastic as one would expect. I guess it's the same as with psychedelics. The average person might take 700 ug of LSD without getting nondual, while a spiritual seeker might get completely blown away by 300 ug. How deep your mystical experiences are (for psychedelics and sleep yoga alike) depends on many factors but the biggest are:

  • your baseline consciousness 
  • self-inquiry / contemplation skills
  • surrender skills
  • intention

(for pyschedelics, there are some more, like personal tolerance etc).

 

- 3. My progress so far

I had tried WILD a few times a year ago with zero success.

I have done quite a lot of meditation during the past 2 years. But I don't think this is required or provides a huge advantage compared to someone who hasn't done any meditation so far. A few months of the above-mentioned Sleep yoga practice, is more valuable in terms of sleep yoga progress than 3 years of meditation.

I started my sleep yoga practice around 3 weeks ago. My attention has been mainly on figuring out the right technique/schedule rather than trying to actually achieve sleep yoga (but I did try, of course). Now I'm finally somewhat satisfied with the technique, so the real practice starts tomorrow.

So far I'm roughly at progress stage 1. 

I'm gonna keep updating.

Edited by GreenWoods

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thanks man! Been practising you work on OBEs, will be following these too, super valuable stuff. 

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Holy crap! I love reading your posts. They are well thought out, logical and detailed. 

Am i right in thinking this post here manages to pull in all your other posts about OBEs and lucid dreaming? I have been meaning to piece together all your info you have posted into one big mega file. Or have you already done this and would be willing to share it?

Cheers,

Ben.

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@b_woo

13 hours ago, b_woo said:

Holy crap! I love reading your posts. They are well thought out, logical and detailed. 

Thanks :)

13 hours ago, b_woo said:

Am i right in thinking this post here manages to pull in all your other posts about OBEs and lucid dreaming? 

Yes kinda. My posts have been like a documentation of my quest to discover the most powerful tool for awakening and life mastery. This post is the current outcome. Most of my previous posts are basically outdated.

Edited by GreenWoods

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There goes my man Greenwoods with the A-1 content. Thank you so much for this, I've actually been experimenting with this. 

 

Usually I try to initiate conscious sleep when I use affirmations or visualizations to program the subconscious mind. If only I were consistent....

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Thank you :)


God is love

Whoever lives in love lives in God

And God in them

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What an amazing post! So well described?
I’ll give it a try in the weekend?

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Refined Technique

The first post was a bit all over the place. This post gets more to the core of the issue. And contains more tricks.

So, what we want is that the body falls asleep while the mind stays awake. That means we need tools that make the body as tired as possible and the mind as alert/attentive as possible. 

 

1. Mind Awake

Do these tools during your sleep yoga session:

- 1.1 Water Shock

The basic idea: hold a bottle of water in such a way that it is comfortable enough to fall asleep but if you do fall asleep, you will get wet, which snaps you awake.

You want the punishment to be as uncomfortable as possible. Thus you not only have a strong conscious but also a strong subconscious motivation to retain some consciousness (so the water doesn't spill over you).

  • use cold water. Put some bottles of water into the fridge. Use that water to refill your sleep yoga bottle. Put ice cubs into your sleep yoga bottle as well
  • hold the bottle in such a way that the water will spill over your stomach. That's where you least want it
  • So keep your stomach naked 
  • Make sure it is warm enough for that reason. Also because you might be too lazy to change clothes and bedsheets every time you spill ice water.
  • You can put some plastic over your bedsheet
  • use any kind of vessel that can hold water: glass, bottle etc.
  • Tape a crumpled up sheet of paper below the bottom of the glass, so that it can't stand.
  • it takes some time to figure out how to hold the bottle so that it is still comfortable enough to fall asleep. Yet in such a way that the bottle will actually spill water if you lose consciousness.

If that is too weak, lie in your bath tube with a whole bucked of ice water threatening you.

The water shock technique also has the effect that you won't do it half-heartedly. Too often when doing the hold-up-your-hand-at-elbow technique, I'm being too half-hearted about it and fall asleep. And the mere falling down of my hand usually isn't enough to wake me up. Often, I actually put the hand down semi-consciously because I wanted to sleep. Ain't gonna happen with a bottle of water. Waking up to ice water splashing on your naked stomach really sucks when you are sleep deprived.

 

- 1.2 Sleep Sitting

starting with the easiest:

  • inclined position
  • with back and neck support
  • resting your head and arms on a table. The way you sleep/slept during school classes
  • only back support
  • meditation posture

 

- 1.3 FILD

As described in the first post.

Combining FILD with the water shock technique can be a really good idea. FILD can be done with one or two fingers with which you touch the bottle of water. FILD results in even more attention in that hand/bottle area.

 

- 1.4 Nootropics 

Been too stupid to notice that possibility. I usually am no big fan of nootropics because I don't want to rely on them long-term. But for sleep yoga purposes, it is only short term. Once you have the skill, you can stop taking them.

The purpose of the nootropics is to increase your attention, alertness, wakefulness and concentration.

I haven't done a lot of research yet but I bought:

  • caffeine. You can use capsulses or cup of coffee. As you desire
  • L-Theanine. If you take caffeine, it is a good idea to take L-Theanine as well. It prevents some of coffeines adverse effects and both somewhat synergize.
  • 5-HTP. There are many reddit reports of 5-HTP resulting in sleep paralysis. ( perhaps 5-HTP should be listed under "Body-Tired tools" idk. And some say you should be careful with 5-HTP health-wise)
  • Huperzine-A. Galantamine is more powerful. but it isn't really legal in Germany
  • I will also use lucid dreaming supplements/nootropics I bought some time ago. I have Dream Leaf and Lucid Esc. 
  • I also considered buying Choline Bitartrate

I bought the coffeine capsulses today. The rest I will get next week.

There are quite some reddit reports of nootropics resulting in experiencing sleep paralysis.

Some nootropics like caffeine make it hard to sleep, therefore we need to be very tired (or sleep deprived) to balance that out (takin L-Theanine might do the trick as well). When you are so tired that your body can fall asleep while on caffeine, that's when it gets interesting.

Do your research whether you can combine your nootropics. I still gotta research that myself as well.

 

- 1.5 Alarm clocks 

As described in the first post.

Mainly as a means of waking you up if you lose consciousness. 

 

-1.6 Anchors

As described in the first post.

 

- 1.7 Wake up triggers

Meant to wake you up if you lose consciousness. 

  • hold your arm up. supported by your ellbow on the mattress
  • sleep sitting without head support
  • water punishment 
  • alarm clocks

 

- 1.8 Uncomfortable position

  • sitting
  • on the floor
  • weird positions of your feet and arms
  • holding an arm up, or holding a glass of water
  • bath tube
  • be creative 

 

- 1.9 Light

Sleeping with lights on makes you more alert and results in light sleep. So you can leave some lights on during your sleep yoga sessions. normal light or red light, as you see fit.

 

-1.10 Brainwave entrainment 

Anything above 12 Hz should work.

 

- 1.11 Noise

As mentioned in the first post.

 

 

2. Body Tired 

Tools that result in a tired body:

- 2.1 Sleep Deprivation

That's probably the most heavy variable in your sleep-yoga success equation. Just being tired can work as well, but being sleep deprived is necessary if you choose to do some of the more hard-core tools to keep your mind alert.

your possibilities:

  •  4-6 hours of sleep and then your sleep yoga practice. You can do a WBTB if you want. And you can do the segemented sleep schedule I wrote about in the first post. But I don't think it is necessary at all.
  • The only real sleep you shall get is a 90 minute or 3h segment. For your SWS needs. If you want to optimize that (which is not necessary) it can be helpful if you do it close to your SWS peak, are in the dark, and use delta binaural beats.
  • The only sleep you get is when you accidentally fall asleep (and are woken up by an alarm clock some minutes later)
  • No sleep at all. I don't recommend doing it longer than 30-50 hours. But it depends on what "Mind Awake" tools you want to use. You can of course try sleep yoga during that time, but have alarm clocks that wake you up in case you lose consciousness.

 

-2.2 Reverse Blinking

As mentioned in the first post.

 

- 2.3 Trance

As mentioned in the first post.

 

- 2.4 Melatonin

  • Darkness before and during your sleep yoga session. (I don't really notice much of an effect though)
  • Melatonin supplements. ( I don't take them)

 

- 2.5 Binaural Beats 

Listening to them during your sleep yoga practice. Anything below 8 Hz is fine. But I notice a stronger effect if it's below 4 Hz. 

- 2.6 Food

  • Food can be a wake up cue. So don't eat during the 1-2 hours before your sleep yoga session.
  • But eating a (large) meal also makes you tired, so you could eat before your session.

 

3. Other tricks 

- 3.1 Dark Room Retreat

After enough days in the dark, you are closer to the awake/asleep threshold, which makes sleep yoga a lot easier. 2 Weeks ago I tried to do that at home. On day 7 I woke up to a light, which ruined and ended the retreat. It somehow must have turned on itself. If a ever do it again, I will take out the light bulbs in advance. In any case, I didn't feel much of an effect on sleep yoga. I think that would have taken some more days. But perhaps it was because I had some tiny light accidents within the first 4 days. Like one time when I opened a can of beans there was a very smal burst of light due to the friction of the metal. After these accidents I became extremely careful, like wearing my sleep mask almost during any major movement I did.

If you do a dark room retreat, definitely do some DMT breathing, that was fun.

If you want to supercharge your DMT, also do fasting. When you fast you produce more melatonin and DMT.

If you are a very dedicated student and have the opportunity, you could actually do a dark room retreat for 1-2 months + sleep yoga techniques. If you are diligent, you probably manage it by then. Once you are conscious during sleep, solidify your skill and then very gradually (over the course of 1-3 weeks) introduce back the light. Gradually so you keep the sleep yoga skill. Enlightenment within 4 months. 

 

- 3.2 Float Tank

Sleep Yoga is also easier if you are in a float tank. If you want to buy one but it's too expensive, perhaps you could manage it that way: 

How about using the float tank during a dark room retreat? 

 

4. Conclusion 

Experiment and combine whatever tools you like. 

Sometimes they contradict each other, like lights out vs lights on. So just experiment.

The more hardcore your "Mind Awake" Tools are, the more "Body Tired" Tools you need to balance it out. Like a pair of scales. And the farther apart the two scales are, the more powerful your technique becomes.

Mind Awake Tools  >  Body Tired Tools = body can't fall asleep

Mind Awake Tools  <  Body Tired Tools = you fall asleep and lose consciousness

 

My progress hasn't been as expected. Mainly because I practiced far less diligently than expected. The reason is, that my sober awakenings are getting quite deep lately. This decreases the motivation to do these hardcore techniques which have no impact now but yield benefits in an imagined future. But mainly it's been, because my favourite way to contemplate is while lying down, and that ruins my sleep deprivation (which is crucial for sleep yoga) because I often fall asleep without having set alarms, because I don't care about that during my contemplations.

But I gotta keep the long term horizon, so yeah I think I will practise with more diligence from now on. 

Edited by GreenWoods

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I just had another idea for a "Mind Awake" tool: A continuous vibration alarm to keep you awake.

- Options:

  • Bed Shaker Vibrator. You can put it below the pillow or put your hand on it. Or put in on your stomach. There are several on amazon.com . On amazon.de I could find only one from the brand Mesqool. Just bought it.

  • Wristband. This seems the only plausible one, on Amazon.com: CoolFire Vibrating Alarm Clock - Silent Alarm Wristband

  • Or use your phone. But I guess the vibratons are too weak.

 

- How to use:

  • Just let it constantly vibrate. You use it as a kind of anchor to retain some consciousness. And it makes it harder to fall asleep. So in that regard it has similiar effects as for example sleeping while sitting. So in order for your body to fall asleep nevertheless, you just need to be more tired.
  • They usually also have normal noise alarm options but you can turn them off
  • Make sure the device is capable of continuously vibrating and doesn't automatically turn itself off after 1 minute or so.

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This is something that I find very interesting and have been researching myself as well.

Thanks for putting such a detailed post. And update us with your progress.

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My Current Routine 

Thought I'd share, so you get a better idea how a more concrete routine can look like. However, I always end up making small changes on my routine daily, and big changes every couple of days, so there is nothing special about this current routine, just one random routine that seems to best fit me today.

 

- Deliberate Sleep:

  • 90 - 200 minutes
  • These delta binaural beats
  • darkness
  • close to the SWS peak if it coincides with my tiredness 

 

- Sleep Yoga Session when not extremely tired:

  • lying on a couch or sitting on a chair, head and arms resting on a table
  • If on the couch, optionally hold arm(s) up, supported on elbow(s)
  • FILD
  • alarm clocks snooze every 10 minutes 
  • nootropics
  • Either delta or theta binaural beats
  • darkness
  • To increase tiredness: reverse blinking and trance triggers

 

- Sleep Yoga Session when very tired:

  • sitting on a chair, head and arms resting on a table
  • FILD
  • alarm clocks snooze every 5  minutes
  • nootropics
  • gamma brainwave entrainment audio
  • light on. Normal light or only red light, depends on the degree of tiredness
Edited by GreenWoods

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 Progresss Update 

During the last weeks of 2020, I wasn't practicing every day. But during the past 4 weeks I was consistent.

During the past 2 weeks I finally started making noticable progress. I think I've been fully conscious while my body was asleep several times. The longest was maybe around 1 minute. I wasn't in the void yet. I still perceived the body. But it felt very weird. and my state of consciousness was very different from normal trance.

 

  • Difficulties

- Difficulty1

I have had far less time to practice than envisioned because I sleep too little. The less you sleep (or rather the lesser your sleep need) the less time you are able to practice. Without sleep yoga I sleep 8-9 hours a day, but due to my particular sleep yoga schedule, I only slept around 3-4 hours on average during the past 4 weeks. Usually I have 90 minutes of deliberate sleep around midnight (for deep sleep) and then I do sleep yoga whenever I feel tired. As my practice is about only allowing my body to fall asleep if the mind remains awake, virtually the only sleep I get from that so far is when I fail and accidentally fall asleep.

Now, the damn problem I'm facing is that I'm far less tired than I should be. Despite 3-4 hours of average sleep, Im hardly any more tired (at least during normal waking hours) than when I was having 8-9 hours.  Which means only little opportunity to practice. 90 minutes are spent on deliberate sleep without sleep yoga practice. and then, the only reason I even get to 3-4 hours on average is beacuse of days where I accidentally oversleep and have 3-6 hours of sleep.

I'm perplexed that I'm hardly tired. I guess the cause is:

  • Strong intent to only sleep when I'm conscious during it. This leads to little sleep
  • + My strong eagerness for sleep yoga. Which unfortunately seems to conjure up energy out of thin air, preventing me from being as tired as I should be. 

 

- Difficulty 2

One reason for oversleeping is that my alarm clocks are not always reliable. That is, they do ring, but I don't always wake up, despite using the most brutal alarm sound I could find. They would if I turned up the volume all the way, but I'm not gonna do that because of likely ear damage.

 

- Difficulty 3

Other causes for oversleeping are unwise approach or technique and utter stupidity like not setting an alarm clock every time I sit down to mediate or contemplate. "Im just gonna sit down a brief moment, no way I'm gonna accidentally fall asleep."

I will cover tipps and tricks in a future post.

Edited by GreenWoods

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FILD for Sleep Yoga

When you are approaching sleep, the danger is very high that you just end up stop FILDing without you noticing it. 

Tips to remain conscious:

- Counting

  • You could mentally chant "FILD", in order to  better keep your attention on doing FILD. But even better is if you mentally count. This engages your mind more.
  • To make it more challenging you could count only every second number.  Or count backwards from 100.
  • Challenge yourself! You must count prefectly. If you get distracted, you must start counting from 0 again. After your sleep yoga session, write your highest number down. make it your challenge, a motivation, to beat that the next time.
  • Additionally, count how often you turn off the alarm. Apart from it further engaging your mind, it also puts attention towards the alarm clocks. This makes it more likely that you will hear them if they ring after you fell asleep. And, if you know the time you started the practice, the time when you finished and the set snoozing time, you can calculate how many times the alarm rang. Thus you can check whether you noticed every alarm, or slept through some.

 

 

- Alarm clocks

  • If you don't listen to anything (music, binaural beats,..), then it's easier to wake up from the alarm. Because the contrast between "no alarm" and "alarm ringing " is higher. The binaural beats from Jody Hatton are quite silent, so they might be ok.
  • Challenge yourself! Try to notice/register the alarm as quickly as possible. But before you are allowed to turn it off, you must quickly, but seriously reflect, "have I been fully conscious or was I asleep?????". You don't wanna know how often I basically was asleep, woke up, turned the alarm snooze, and went back to sleep wihout hesitation or any considerations. Sometimes literally every couple of minutes, the whole session. As though someone had removed my brain.
  • Therfore, you must always reflect before snoozing the alarm!!!! If you notice that you are in zombie mode and have been unconscious, GET UP!!!! And continue later. Otherwise you are extremely likely to just fall unconscious again. no matter your determination. (This applies if you are sleep deprived. If you practice sleep yoga without being sleep deprived or just being very tired, then other rules apply. In that case, you might want exactly such a situation. From there, you might manage DEILDs. Or get to the void the DEILD way.)
  • I wear headphones so neighbours don't hear the alarm clocks. So you need an alarm clock app that can play the alarm only through the headphones. There are many such apps. But few apps that have deailed setting options. For example for the snooze length. You also want it to have an easy way to make it snooze. I use "sleep as android". I can trigger snooze by pushing the volume regulator buttons on my phone. Thus I can turn it snooze with almost no movement involved (I keep my fingers on the volume regulator buttons).

 

- Ideas for different Hand and Finger Variations

  • You could do FILD with both hands at once. (Some time ago I heard a kriya yogi say that splitting your focus results in a different kind of concentration. an enhanced concentration. He recommended focusing on both hands at once while meditating in order to more easily enter a no-mind focused meditative state)
  • You could do the index finger movement with one hand and the middle finger movement with the other hand. Alternating.
  • Rather than moving 2 fingers to and fro as if playing a piano, lightly press your thumb and index finger together. Press, relax, press, relax..... same rhytm as with normal FILD.
  • You can do that while holding your hand in the air. Hold your arm vertically up, supported by your ellbow on a surface (mattress, couch).
  • I practice on my couch. I place the ellbow close to the edge in such a way that if I lose consciousness and my arm drops, it drops further, past the edge of the couch. thus there is more movement and it gets more momentum. Thus more likely it will wake you up.

 

- FILD variations as Deepeners

  • Do the "index finger press to thumb FILD" with both hands. 
  • Associate "mind awake" with one hand and "body asleep" with the other. You basically tell/programm your subconscious that every FILD movement with one hand results in you getting more alert, and withe the other hand results in your body getting sleepier, falling asleep.
  • Now you have more control. When  your body is too awake, do FILD with that hand, if you are too little alert, do FILD with the other hand. You can of course do both at once 
  • Just a 3 second decision of which hand means which (and sticking with it) will be enough for your subconscious to know which hand means which. But you can make it clearer if you want, by for example tying a yellow or orange or red cloth around the mind awake hand. And a blue or black around the body asleep hand. Or whatever color you would associate it with. Or just write awake or sleepy on your hand. you could also place the body asleep hand on your body, while placing the mind awake hand close to your head (I keep it in the air, supported by my ellbow on the surface, as described before).
  • In the beginning, or when it seems good, couple the FILD movement with intention. Try to will your body into either asleep or mind awake. But most of the time, I recommend you completely leave it to the subconscious. Don't even think about it. But know that your subconscious is doing the job, even if you don't notice an immediate difference/effect in sleepiness or alertness.

 

 

I regard FILD as the core, the other tools (from my previous posts) are mainly fine-tuning.

Edited by GreenWoods

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Religious Approach

 

- Tibetan Sleep Routines

Tibetan buddhists have developed some methods which can make it easier. For example certain sleep positions, but for the most part, it's about visualizations.

I don't practice these methods, but if you are interested, read "the tibetan yogas of dream and sleep" by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.

 

- Help by Spirits

Any spirit (but particularly ascended masters, deities and angels) can help you to develop the sleep yoga skill. How?

  • by giving you advice 
  • by attracting the right circumstances that encourage/favour you developing the skill. (Similar to how some law of attraction manifestation works)
  • by directly helping you develop that skill. If you are lucky, it can work similiar to how devotees can become enlightened by being in the presence of a very awake master. One explanation of how that works is: Everytime you are around people, there is some exchange of aura energy. Thats how you can empathically pick up someone's emotions. And thats why your state can change due to being around other people. This is usually insignificant (in terms of awakening) and only temporary but the aura of a master is far more itense, therefore you can get a permanent awakening by being in his presence. The same way that a master can directly cause you to get enlightened, a spirit can theoretically cause you to have the sleep yoga skill. Whether that works, depends on many factors. In most cases, it probably works but only very subtly, such that no big improvement is seen. Still worth a try.

 

Which spirits can help for sleep yoga?

  • Salgye Du Dalma. Worshipped by tibetan buddhists for sleep yoga. She is mentioned in detail (and how she can help.) In the above-mentioned book (I've seen the exact same text about her somewhere online as well (copied from the book). you should find it within 5 minutes. Just search for Salgye Du Dalma. There are not many webpages about her.)
  • I'm pretty sure Buddha and Babaji both were/are conscious during sleep
  • Hypnos, the greek god of sleep
  • But really, I guess any spirit can help to some extend. Though the more the spirit is associated with sleep or alertness, the better. 
  • God. Praying to God

 

How to contact and interact with the spirit?

Just telepathically reach out to the spirit. Speak words loud, or use your thoughts, or your intention alone,...  Every materialist will say you are BSing yourself and nothing more. But I am sure, you are actually telepathically connecting/communicating with spirits. The accuracy and intensity of the connection then depends on your intuition, psychic skills, focus,..... Though that's mostly about 'hearing' their response. The sending out part ( that the spirit 'hears' you) always works fine enough, I believe. Even if your telepathic skills are very weak.

If you are into rituals, you can look up what the particular spiritual tradition has developed over the centuries to make contact more accurate and intense. Though I think the above mentioned simple approach can be enough (and I prefer it).

And then you can just humbly ask for help and advice. Perhaps pray or chant if you like. But is not necessary. At least not when contacting ascended masters or angels. You can just communicate with them (I think Salgye Du Dalma can be included in that category). When contacting deities, most traditional people give something in return (for example food, water, devotion, singing, candle light,...). In the past, they even built actual temples.

Edited by GreenWoods

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