Falling for Sleep

In Evelyn De Morgan’s numinous painting, Night and Sleep (1878), Nyx, the mighty Greek goddess of night, hovers across a dusky sky with her beloved son Hypnos, the sweet-natured god of sleep. The painting and the Greek gods it captures depict a radically different way of understanding and relating to sleep. In antiquity sleep was personified, transcendent, even romantic. Read More

Van Winkles

How to View the World Through Dream Eyes

When we think of dreaming, we typically think of being in a different place — another state of consciousness, a dream world or dreamscape and certainly not in Kansas anymore. In reality, however, it only looks like we’re not on Auntie Em’s farm. Dreaming, after all, is more about a different way of perceiving. It’s about seeing with dream eyes. Read More

A Tiny Bladder Isn’t the Only Reason You’re Waking Up in the Middle of the Night

Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea” is about a young regal girl whose sleep is disrupted by a tiny legume tucked beneath a stack of twenty mattresses. Her heightened sensitivity was said to be characteristic of royalty. If so, it may be that we all become royal in our sleep. Read More

Huffington Post

7 Good Reasons to Stay Sleepless: Insomnia and Secondary Gain

Maybe you’ve heard this one: A woman goes to see a psychologist and tells him her husband thinks he’s a chicken.
“Well,” says the psychologist, “we have effective treatments for that. Why don’t you bring him in?”
“I don’t know,” responds the woman. “We really need the eggs.” Read More

Love Means Never Having to Say Goodnight

Maybe you’ve just made love. Maybe you’ve stumbled into bed, exhausted. Or maybe you’ve been reading or watching television and find yourself nodding off. So, you turn to your partner, say goodnight, and go to sleep. I imagine this is the most common bedtime story for couples in our world. Read More

Reimagining Your Bed

Typically undercover by day and out of awareness throughout the night, the bed is the most primordial of furnishings in our lives. We are conceived, born and die in a bed. We make love, sleep, dream, heal and are entertained in our bed. We burrow deeply into it in times of sorrow and awaken to a new day from it each morning. Read More


Huffington Post

10 Strategies for Managing the Day After a Bad Night’s Sleep

Most everybody has experienced at least a night or two of poor sleep. And many millions of us do so on a regular basis. A bad night’s sleep can leave us feeling anxious about making it through the next day. Will we have the energy, the focus, and the emotional wherewithal to do so? Is it even possible to have a good day after a bad night? Read More

Looking for Sleep in All the Wrong Places

Despite dramatic increases in the number of sleep specialists, national sleep education initiatives and the use of sleep medications, healthy sleep continues to elude tens of millions of us each night. In fact, there are indications that the insomnia epidemic is worsening. Consequently, millions of us desperately search for sleep. And we do so in three common arenas: medicinals, mattresses, and what I’ll call magic. Read More

Q and A: Paying Attention To Our Dreams

Dr. Rubin Naiman doesn’t want to just raise awareness about the importance of sleep. He wants to change the way we think about it, by blasting through the assumptions and misunderstandings that have for so long defined — and limited — the conversation. Great philosophers have taught that we routinely mistake the limits of our personal perception for the limits of the universe… Read More


Huffington Post

Get Down And Get Dogged: What Canines Can Teach Us About Sleep

My dog, Isaac, was a handsome, blue-eyed Siberian husky who loved playing Frisbee. And I loved witnessing his wild passion for the game. He would seem dreamlike, almost defying gravity in slow-motion flight while twisting and lunging to capture his prize. But if ever I paused our Frisbee play to answer my cell phone, Isaac would stop in his tracks, glare at me with his head cocked, and then plop instantly down to sleep. Read More

10 Features Of Superb Sleep

Given all the concern about insomnia and sleep deprivation, it’s too easy to overlook the fact that there are exceptionally good sleepers among us. They tend not to get much media attention. In fact, I’ve found they are rather reticent to boast about their joyous relationship with sleep. Frequently, one of these great sleepers will approach me after I’ve done a presentation and actually whisper, “I love sleep.” Read More

Dressed For Rest: Can Bedclothes Affect Our Sleep?

Most of us typically think about getting dressed as preparation for our day. We dress to accommodate waking life activities and events. We dress for work or play, for celebrations, chores or to hang out with friends. But because we see sleep as a kind of non-event or inactivity, we typically don’t think in terms of getting dressed for it. We get undressed for sleep. Read More

Lying With Lions And Lambs: Why Clergy Should Help Heal Sleeplessness

Whether as a biblical icon or a secular notion, the image of the lion lying down with the lamb is one familiar to most of us. For some, it symbolizes an unattainable utopian state. For others, it holds the promise of a miracle in which opposite forces come to peace. This image is also suggestive of the most critical personal and cultural challenges underlying the sleep epidemic as well as the potential role of clergy in healing it. Read More

Where Do We Go When We Go To Sleep? Bringing More Mindfulness To Bed

“What’s the best thing in the world?” asked my mother. When I was a little boy, she played this curious game with me. It didn’t matter that we had done it countless times before, that I already knew the right answer, and that I would once again tease her with childish responses I knew she would dismiss. The fact that she was smiling and in a playful mood was reason enough for me to engage her. Read More

Are You T’wired? — Simultaneously Tired and Wired

A new, peculiar hybrid form of waking consciousness has been emerging in recent years. Because so many of us struggle nightly with inadequate sleep and dreams, we become chronically tired. At the same time, the excessive stimulation and hyperbole emblematic of modern life drives us to feel persistently wired. We are t’wired — simultaneously tired and wired. Read More


Huffington Post

Here and Meow: What Cats Can Teach Us About Sleep

I’ve never been much of a cat person. I’ll confess that until recently I couldn’t understand the lure these mysterious creatures had for so many. Beyond their penchant for catching the occasional rodent, it seemed they were little more than hypersomnolent stoics who couldn’t distinguish a scratching post from a fine leather sofa. Read More

Why Sleep Tips Don’t Work

Tips are ubiquitous in modern life. We are offered cooking tips, golf tips and gardening tips. There are an abundance of management, childrearing, automotive and tax tips available. And tips for weight loss, high fashion, exercise, skin care and of course, sleep, abound.

My recent Google search for “sleep tips”… Read More

Father’s Day and Night: A Man’s Sleep 

I just bought a new sporty car. Well, it’s not really a sports car; it’s a hybrid. My first. I’ve owned real sports cars in the past and thoroughly enjoyed their agility and power. OK, it won’t break any records, but I was delighted to learn that my new vehicle… Read More

Mother’s Day and Mother’s Night: A Woman’s Sleep 

This past year, I watched my daughter-in-law, Adriana, proceed through her second pregnancy, childbirth and the care of our family’s lovely newborn, Eva. I watched her struggle with some of the most common challenges of motherhood, including of course, disrupted sleep. As Mother’s Day draws near, I’m remembering the many…  Read More

Real Simple Magazine

How to Eat, Sleep, Look and Live Better 


Huffington Post

Narcolepsy: What We All Should Know

Narcolepsy. Though many recognize the word, relatively few of us know what it really means. And why should we? As far as sleep disorders go, it’s not nearly as common as insomnia or apnea. And let’s face it, it doesn’t sound very sexy either. Read More

Sleep Studio

Need A Boost? Try A Cool And Refreshing Nap

“You must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner, and no halfway measures.

Take off your clothes and get into bed. That’s what I always do. Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imaginations. You will be able to accomplish more. You get two days in one—well, at least one and a half.” Read More

Alarming Truth About The Alarm Clock

Dr. Seuss’ Chippendale Mupp, a quirky creature with an impossibly long tail, has an important hidden message for children of all ages. Featured in his classic, The Sleep Book, the Mupp routinely chomps down on the end of its tail before getting into bed. Read More

Huffington Post

Earth Day / Earth Night: How Green Is Your Sleep?

This week we observe the 42th anniversary of Earth Day. Once again we conjure familiar images of smoggy skylines, toxic landfills and lethal oil spills along with the mounting evidence of global warming. And we also celebrate the heightened awareness and many major environmental initiatives promoted by Earth Day. Read More

Sleep Studio

Addicted To Time

Ed, an accomplished attorney in Southern California, was quite proud of the fact that he never had to change his sleep position to determine what time it was when he found himself awake at night.

“I have a digital clock with a bright oversized blue display on the dresser to the left of my bed, I wear a wrist watch with a large illuminated face on my right hand, and the clock on my nightstand projects the time onto the ceiling directly above my bed.” Ed smiled, “Pretty cool, huh?” Read More

Waking Up To Go To Sleep

Jamie was a bright and perky, forty-something publicist and mother of two who came to see me for chronic middle of the night awakenings. She gestured emphatically with her left hand as she told me her sleep story, while simultaneously using her right hand to manage email signals from her smartphone. Read More

Are You Awake Or Just Wired?

We sleep in stages – from very light, which is actually a mix of sleep and relaxed wakefulness to thoroughly deep sleep. Getting good quality sleep is just as important as the number of hours we sleep. Read More

Sleeping Together Alone

“Some nights I find myself drifting mechanically from meaningless task to task. On other nights from one TV program or website to another.” said Randy. “I can’t believe it took me this long to realize I was just reluctant to go to bed.” Randy was talking about the nearly three years that had lapsed since the divorce. “Sleeping alone was a painful reminder of my loneliness.” Read More

Sleep And Love – Some Surprising Similarities

Have you ever thought about the curious relationship between sleep and love? Most of us would likely agree that both are highly desirable, though too often elusive states.

Both sleep and love enhance health in surprisingly similar ways. By eliciting a parasympathetic nervous system response, love encourages feelings of deep relaxation. This is associated with a thorough sense of receptivity and letting go. Sleep and love both call for a kind of sweet surrender. We fall in love. And, we fall asleep. Read More

Pillow Talk

Pillow talk can provide a unique opportunity to deepen intimacy by enhancing our empathic connection with our partner. The transition between waking and sleep, referred to as Stage I sleep, is characterized by alpha brain waves. Recent research has found that alpha waves are linked to measurably increased activity of mirror neurons, brain cells that facilitate empathy. In less technical terns, our hearts naturally open as we drift into sleep. Although we are less focused and rational, it’s a time when we can be especially present with our partner. Read More

The Unfriendly Fire Of Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is essentially a process of immune function overactivation in which the immune system engages in unfriendly fire, attacking parts its own host. This smoldering autoimmune process has been identified as a predisposing factor in all major illnesses including depression and sleep disorders. Chronic inflammation appears to have a bi-directional link to insomnia. A single night of sleep deprivation can increase levels of inflammation while inflammatory conditions are also known to disrupt sleep. Read More

Nocturnal Physiology

Sleep duration in the U.S. decreased by an average of 1.5-2 hours per night during the second half of the 20th century. Many people routinely sleep only 5-6 hours per night. The National Institutes of Health reports that 60 million American struggle with insomnia. Read More

The Energy Crisis – It’s Personal.

Our natural rhythms guide our relationship with personal energy. Energy is procured, consumed, assimilated, stored, utilized, recycled and replenished –all within rhythmic processes. (All energy can be depicted in terms of waves, which include an active ascending component and a more restful descending component.) Read More

BRAC Cycles

BRAC refers to subtle rhythmic processes like eating, breathing, heart rate and brain wave activity. that underlie, inform and structure our waking lives. These are roughly 90-minute cycles of activation and rest that recur throughout the day in association with pronounced alternating patterns of brain hemispheric activity. Like the heart, though much more leisurely, each side of the brain takes its turn pumping and then resting. One side is more rational and linguistic, the other more visual and artistic. Read More

Rhythms Rule

Life is by nature fundamentally rhythmic. From the oscillation of atomic particles to the swirl of galaxies, from our brain waves to our heartbeat, and from the cycles of night and day to the seasons of the sun, rhythms rule our world. And they regulate us. From personal routines and religious rituals to standard operating procedures or rock and roll, rhythms provide a structure for virtually all aspects of life. In the course of our daily lives, they serve as clocks, calendars and metronomes telling us when to sleep, dream and awaken. Read More

A Good Night’s Sleep

I have often been asked if there is a secret to a good night’s sleep. Although the question is broad, almost philosophical, it invites us into a critical and often overlooked discussion. If there is a secret to a good night’s sleep, it is a good days waking. By reflecting on the quality of our waking lives we can see how intricately sleep mediates our experience of, well… everything. Read More

The Pulse: Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors

How Cool Is Your Sleep? Chronic Inflammation and Excessive Energy Consumption


Huffington Post

10 Ways We Manage Sleeplessness That Make it Worse

Given the acute distress often associated with sleeplessness, it’s not surprising that so many of us respond to it with limited stop-gap, band-aid type solutions. In my practice I’ve found that so much of what we do to manage sleeplessness simply makes it worse. Read More

Psychology Today

One Night at a Time: Sleep, Alcohol and Recovery

A few years ago I accompanied a visiting friend, Rafael, to an AA meeting. Having occasionally sat in on 12-step meetings over the years, I generally knew what to expect. The only surprise this evening was that the smokers were now huddled outside, quickly getting their last fix of… Read More

Huffington Post

A New Sleep Disorder: Bedtime Tail-Biting Behavior

I’d like to share a brief bedtime story — actually, it’s a story about a character in a bedtime story. It’s about one of Dr. Seuss’s enigmatic little creatures, the Chippendale Mupp, who is featured in his classic “Sleep Book.” The Mupp is a sharp-toothed furry fellow with… Read More

Psychology Today

Turn On, Tune In, Nod Out: A Mindful Approach to Sleep – Part 2

Could it be that struggles with attaining deep sleep mirror struggles with connecting to our deeper selves? Read More

Huffington Post

Ending The War Against Insomnia: A Non-Violent Approach To Sleep

When it comes to conversations about insomnia, one might think we were at war. This isn’t all that surprising, since we generally approach health problems as adversaries. We fight disease, combat infections, kill germs and go to battle with our symptoms.

These kinds of fighting words are integral to… Read More

Remembering REM: The Lost Art and Science of Dreaming

I believe that dreaming is among the most critical misunderstood and overlooked factors in our health, well-being and spiritual development. In contrast to waking, which is typically about an intentional, concrete and active relationship with the world around us, dreaming is more about a receptive, expansive and ethereal relationship with… Read More

Psychology Today

Turn On, Tune In, Nod Out: A Mindful Approach to Sleep – Part 1

Whether at the beginning or the middle of the night, epidemic insomnia leaves millions of us routinely struggling with that tricky transition from waking to sleep. Understanding the subtle shift in consciousness inherent in this nightly process is crucial to reclaiming our personal power to get to sleep. Read More

Post-Dramatic Stress Disorder: A Hidden Cause of Sleeplessness

We live in a world where drama is so ubiquitous that we have largely habituated to its insidious impact on our lives. Beyond the personal dramas that may visit, so many of us are overexposed to a much broader range of dramatic experiences through the media -especially news reports, television dramas and print media. Read More

Huffington Post

Insomniacs Anonymous: Do We Need a 12-Step Program for Sleep?

Ask insomniacs why they can’t sleep and they’ll likely tell you its because they’re just not sleepy enough. But, how could this be? Given their chronic sleep loss and typical diligence about doing all the right things, surely they must be sleepy. But, they’re not. In fact, they are even… Read More

We Don’t Get Sleep Because We Don’t ‘Get’ Sleep

I believe the main reason we struggle with epidemic sleep disorders is our failure to examine fundamental misconceptions that inform our understanding of and approach to sleep. These misconceptions are rooted in a tendency to define sleep negatively — that is, in terms of what it’s not. Like our conception… Read More

Psychology Today

Circadian Rhythm and Blues: The Interface of Depression with Sleep and Dreams Part II

So, how do we cool the psychological fever of the depression-insomnia complex? We begin by reconsidering symptoms of depression as possible endogenous healing responses. We trust our body and brain’s intention to heal, to reduce the heat of excessive waking by slowing us down and opening us up. Read More

Circadian Rhythm and Blues: The Interface of Depression with Sleep and Dreams

Depression is a disorder of waking life. At least, that’s our common presumption. Read More

How Cool Is Your Sleep?

When I was a little boy and happened not to be feeling well, my mother would routinely ask me three questions. Having grown up in an old-world village, she clung to simpler, traditional views of health, including her folksy health assessment.

Her first question was always: “What did you eat?” Read More