Since we are discussing the subject of Growing Rich While You Sleep, it would not be amiss to include in our discussion ways and means of inducing restful, peaceful sleep.
A large majority of people complain about their difficulty in sleeping well at night. Some say they drop off to sleep immediately, but awaken later and stay awake for a long period of time before returning to sleep. Others find that it takes an hour or more to drop off into sleep after retiring.
Since you are learning that the subconscious mind does its best work while the conscious mind is in abeyance—or while you sleep—it is sensible to form the habit of going to sleep promptly, and resting peacefully throughout the night. This chapter will show you how easy it is to form this habit.
Sleeplessness usually results from bad bed-time habits. Tossing and turning for long periods of time after retiring is more frequently psychological than physiological. If, however, you have difficulty in sleeping, you should first consult your doctor to learn whether it is your mind or some bodily ailment which is keeping you awake. If it is the former, this chapter will prove of great value to you. If it is the latter, be guided by your doctor.
So, the thoughts and suggestions given to you herein are based upon the assumption that you are in normally good health.
I will spend no time in discussing sleep from a psychological standpoint. In fact, you are not interested in knowing what sleep is; you want to learn how to go to sleep and rest peacefully.
A fault discovered is half overcome, it has been said, and I agree. So, let’s begin by meditating on a few of the reasons for sleeplessness:
1. Worry. This is probably the Number-1 enemy of sleep. We worry about finances; about our health and that of our family; about our jobs or businesses. We worry about wars and rumors of wars. We translate sounds into burglars.
We worry about the impression we did or did not make on those with whom we have had recent contact. If you reflect over the worries which have kept you awake in the past, you’ll be able to add many more worries to this list.
Solution. Be logical! Realize that worry cannot in any way help the condition about which you are worrying. A sleepless night—with a troubled mind—will rob you of the stamina which could help you to combat the causes of your worry.
“Most worry is a lie,” wrote a great philosopher. “Seldom do the things you worry about materialize,” he added. Recall to mind the many things you have worried about in the past and you will agree with this wise man.
You will learn, as you mentally digest the magic formulas given in this book, that the things one worries about are not reasons for worry at all. They are challenges; opportunities for us to grow as we easily find solutions to our problems.
Tonight, and every night hereafter, instead of worrying, go to sleep with the thought: “While asleep, my subconscious mind will find a solution to my problem, and tomorrow it will guide me to do the things which will eliminate the condition which might otherwise cause worry.”
When you worry, you are holding mental pictures of things you do not want, instead of things you do want. So, as you go to sleep, visualize the ideal condition you are seeking, instead of the one existing, and realize that not until you are asleep, will your subconscious mind have an opportunity to work on the problem.
2. Living with your work. Many people carry their work to bed with them. For hours they relive the day just ended; thinking of the things they did do—but should not have done; and thinking of the things they did not do—but should have done.
After spending sleepless hours with the past, they switch to the future, thinking of things they will or will not do.
Solution. Before retiring at night, take a few moments and review the day’s work. If there is anything not pleasing to you, decide what you will do about it the following day—or in the future. Make use of that subconscious mind of yours—which never sleeps—and permit it to work for you while you sleep.
Know that a good night’s peaceful rest will let you awaken in the morning refreshed and ready to start a great day of accomplishment.
3. Jealousy. It is pathetic how many hours of sleep the green-eyed monster has taken from men and women. Such hours of sleeplessness are miserable, too. We toss and roll as we imagine our happiness and security being taken by another.
Solution. Jealousy usually indicates one of two things: selfishness or inferiority. As you retire at night, realize that refreshing, restful sleep will give you the charm which makes you unafraid of competition. Remember! The more you trust others, the more that trust will be deserved.
4. Envy. Not all of us, but a goodly number of people, upon hearing of the good fortune of a friend or relative, stay awake for long periods of time wondering why they never get the breaks. They envy others who have better jobs, better homes, better automobiles, etc.
Solution. Envy is negative. To envy someone for a possession indicates that you doubt your own ability to obtain that which you are envying.
This book is giving you fantastically simple rules which will enable you to get what you want in life. So, instead of envying others for what they have, know that you may acquire the same —or even better.
5. Guilty conscience. A guilty conscience does not always indicate that the one so affected has committed a crime, or a breach of conduct. One’s conscience may bother him if he feels he has been negligent toward those near and dear to him. Or, our conscience may disturb us if we feel we have been negligent in improving the body.
Solution. A guilty conscience is caused by something which happened in the past. It is beyond the power of anyone to relive a single day of the past. Let bygones be bygones and determine that you will forgive yourself for your mistakes of the past—and profit by them—so that you will not make similar ones in the future. Go to bed with a song in your heart because of your resolve regarding the future.
6. Laziness. The lazy individual loses sleep in two ways. He thinks about the opportunities he has missed, and is missing, owing to his laziness. He also spends time in thinking of ways and means whereby he can avoid doing things he should be doing.
It has often been thought that a lazy person sleeps more than he should, because he is lazy. He can ordinarily drop into sleep at times when he should be occupied, but he stays awake when he should be sleeping, because he feels guilty about his apathy toward work.
Solution. There is no such thing as physical laziness. All laziness is mental. When we dread doing a certain type of work, it is because we are not interested in it. It bores us. Learn to like that which you have to do. Decide you will do it a bit better than it has ever been done before. If laziness has been one of your drawbacks, retire with a promise to yourself that in the future you will find something to like about everything you are supposed to do and that you will take delight in doing it well.
7. Hatred. In conducting studies on sleep and the causes of sleeplessness, it has been noted that one with a heart of hatred never sleeps as well as the one whose mind is at peace with himself and the world at large. The former has difficulty in going to sleep and when he does, he is tense and rests but little.
Solution. Hatred is a poison which works on both your mind and body. If you could realize the damage which is done by hating, you would know that you cannot afford to hate. Remember! Hatred never harms the one hated. The hater is the one who pays the penalty.
And, does hatred keep one awake? On one occasion a man did something toward me which literally “burned me up.” I went to bed and for two or three hours kept myself awake just by dwelling on the action which brought about the hatred. After singing on this “hymn of hate” for a good portion of the night, I understood that I was harming no one but myself. I even asked myself the question: “Wouldn’t that fellow be glad if he knew he was keeping me awake?” In other words, I was really allowing him to bestow more injury upon me. Knowing the futility of lying awake—just hating—I actually whispered a prayer asking that he be blessed and guided to do right by his fellow man.
This act dissolved my hatred. I dropped off to restful sleep and woke up in the morning actually sympathizing with this man instead of hating him.
8. Planning ahead. So far, this is the only constructive reason for sleeplessness given. Progressive, far-sighted people usually spend many of the hours in which they should be sleeping in making plans for the future. As admirable as this trait appears, a weakened physical condition is developed which may later hold one back from doing the things he has planned to do.
Solution. In planning for the future, why not take full advantage of the great source of intelligence and power contained within your subconscious mind? Retire with a thought, such as: “While I am asleep, my subconscious mind will draw from my experience of the past, and from it will formulate practical and progressive moves for the future. I am happy in anticipation of my continuous growth and achievement.” You can, if you wish, be more specific as to your future. If you have a definite objective, include it in the bed-time instruction to your subconscious mind. For instance: “While I am asleep, my subconscious mind will decide the proper steps I should take in obtaining wider distribution for my product (mention name), and I will be guided accordingly.”
9. Creating. The inventive-type mind, whether it is concerned with patentable ideas, designs, story material, subjects for paintings, etc., will frequently be most active at bed-time, when ideas seem to come thick and fast.
Solution. What was said for “Planning” also applies here.
When you stay awake and attempt to create, you are using but a small portion of your mind. When you permit yourself to drop off into peaceful, relaxed sleep after having given proper instruction to your faithful servant, the subconscious mind, you are utilizing your greatest mental powers.
I do my best writing early in the morning. As I retire, I tell my subconscious mind: “I will sleep peacefully tonight, and as I do so, my subconscious mind will develop a good theme for my newspaper article, and in the morning, as I write, thoughts will flow to me enabling me to write a good article in a short period of time.” Many times, in the morning, as I place a sheet of paper in my typewriter, I have no idea what my theme will be.
By the time I have the paper set, ideas begin to come into my consciousness and continue to do so until the material is completed.
10. Fear of death. Last but by no means least is the fear most people have of dying. If a man’s health is not good, he fears death as a result of illness. He may fear death through an accident, in a plane, train or automobile; or even as a pedestrian. And, at night, when everything is dark, and one has a feeling of loneliness, that is the time when he gives vent to such fears.
Solution. Love life, but do not fear death! I know of no one who can possibly want to live more than I do. My home life is happy; my future is bright and getting brighter; my health is good; yet, with all of this, I give no thought whatsoever to the day when I will leave this plane of existence.
Fear of death hastens death. When we have a pain or an ache, if, instead of looking for the cause and trying to correct it, we worry about it—and associate it with possible death—we become frantic. Live as if you had an assured life span of 125 years. Then, no matter what your present age may be, you are young in comparison with the time you have set for yourself.
Eliminate the fear of death and you will have eliminated one of the common causes of sleeplessness.
Problems, fears and worries are greatly magnified at night. With eyes closed—and in a dark room—your entire attention is focused on that which is keeping you awake. In the daytime, with your eyes wide open, the object of your sleeplessness, when viewed in comparison with all about you, loses much of its importance.
Many people actually prepare for a sleepless night before they retire. “Oh, how I dread going to bed. I just know I won’t sleep,” they moan.
You, who are now reading this mind-power book, know that to hold such thoughts is exactly the same as instructing your subconscious mind to keep you awake; and it obeys. Look forward to retiring. Think how good it will feel to be undressed and to be able to stretch out and relax in a comfortable bed. Know that soon you’ll be fast asleep gaining strength and energy.
Coffee is often blamed for loss of sleep and, in most cases, wrongly so. It has been said that the stimulating effects of coffee are worn off about two hours after it is taken. If you have dinner at 6:00, the effect of the coffee should be gone by 8:00. Yet, with most people, even if they do not retire until 10:00 or later, they do not sleep “because they knew the coffee would keep them awake.” This sleeplessness is psychological and not due to the beverage.
There are a few things you can do which will be conducive to healthful sleep.
Do not put your bed where lights from the outside will fall upon your face.
Do not put your bed in a draft, but do see to it that your bedroom is well ventilated.
If there are any unavoidable sounds or noises which may keep you awake, get the right attitude toward the sounds instead of resenting them and they’ll no longer bother you.
Perhaps you live in a neighborhood where there is considerable street noise. Resenting it will keep you awake. Learn to be indifferent toward the many sounds, and you will soon forget them.
“I just can’t sleep with all that racket,” one might complain. Of course, knowing the mind and how it operates, as you and I do, we understand that such a statement literally instructs the subconscious mind to keep one awake.
When I was a young man, I slept in a tent in a mining camp close to a mill which operated on a 24-hour schedule. The roar from the grinding machines was terrific. But I became so accustomed to it that whenever the mill closed down during the night for any reason, the silence would awaken me.
HOW TO PUT YOURSELF TO SLEEP
The idea I am about to pass on to you is original with me as far as I know. It is as interesting as it is effective.
Have you ever noticed that in a dark room, with your eyes closed, the field within your vision is not entirely black? Usually it is gray; somewhat the color of a blackboard which has been often used without having the chalk too thoroughly erased.
If you relax fully and fix your attention on that gray-black field, you will discover many changes taking place. Sometimes you will notice whirling masses of changing color. Other times you may notice geometrical designs: squares, circles, triangles, etc. These designs will appear in pale white outline against the dark background.
After you have experimented with this “mental screen,” let’s call it, for several nights, you will get so you can see faces and often entire people.
Doing this little exercise will help you get your mind off whatever has been responsible for your sleeplessness. But this is not the whole formula for putting yourself to sleep.
What I am about to tell you is “jumping the gun” and giving you a bit of the material which will begin in the next chapter, but it will help you to understand better my discovery of a most effective way to put yourself to sleep.
When you wish to drop off to sleep, whether immediately upon retiring, or after awakening during the night, follow these simple steps:
1. Make certain you are fully relaxed and comfortable. See that your pajamas or nightgown are not binding in any place and that the bedclothes are smooth.
2. Give your subconscious mind the proper instruction. (In the next chapter you will learn about the intelligence of the subconscious mind and how it takes instructions from the conscious mind and carries them out whether they are for your good or not.)
When putting myself to sleep, I talk to my subconscious mind as though it were a visible being. I will tell you approximately what I say, then I’ll explain why I say it, and how the message works:
“I am about to drop off into restful sleep. As I do so, I am turning all of my affairs over to you. While I am asleep, you will receive proper information to enable you to guide me in thought and actions, in the handling of my affairs so that they will be concluded in a manner which will be best for all concerned… I am now on the platform of the station waiting for the sleepy-train to carry me to the land of happy dreams. While waiting I will amuse myself watching—and interpreting—the many pictures that project themselves before my mind’s eye… I will awaken in the morning refreshed and eager to begin another day of accomplishment.”
As you learn more about the subconscious mind you will find that it is the seat of intelligence and with its independent reasoning powers it can work on your problems while your conscious mind is otherwise employed.
To know that while you’re enjoying restful sleep, the great intelligence of your subconscious mind will be finding a happy solution to your problems is, in itself, a soothing thought.
It may seem infantile to talk about the station platform and the sleepy-train, but so what? We’re all just grown-up kids, so what harm is there to live occasionally in the land of make believe?
The human mind cannot think of two things at once. The moment you start on this routine you feel comfortable and all of the thoughts which might otherwise haunt you fade completely away.
Most frequently I am asleep before even completing the mental instruction; and this will happen to you after you have learned from experience that the system works.
But even if you do not go to sleep immediately, don’t worry.
Just continue to watch the colors and pictures which will be coming before you. It won’t take long before Morpheus will take you by the hand and lead you into Dreamland.
One of the unfortunate things about reading books is that they are so easy to obtain. Many people feel that they haven’t lost much even if the books they buy fail to help them.
For example, what would it mean to you to have an effective means of putting yourself to sleep—quickly—which would last the rest of your life? $100? $500? $1,000? Such a formula is priceless; yet it is only one contribution made to you by this book. And we are just starting.
Can’t you now understand that, if you think while you read, there has been no stock in the history of Wall Street which will pay such dividends?
If you can’t wait, start the next chapter. But my feeling is that it will pay you to pause awhile and reflect about the valuable things you have learned in this one. Don’t you agree?
Visit Grow Rich While You Sleep for more articles from this book by Ben Sweetland.