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My mind won't let me sleep.

Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer
edited September 2015 in Meditation

Hello! 8 months ago, my ex-girlfriend broke up with me. I experienced emotionally intense dreams about her every night afterwards. I always had vivid dreams in the past, but now these were pure torture reminding me of my loss. So then I began meditating and studying Buddhism in order to understand and relieve my suffering.

Happy to say that the practice has benefited me immensely. I am no longer tormented by what happened and have grown into a happier, more mature person. However, the dreams haven't stopped. In fact, they've gotten worse and changed in their content without making any sense. Most of them are rubbish and have no emotional significance whatsoever. I highly suspect this has some connection to my meditation practice. Funny thing is I go to bed feeling peaceful, so in that way, I expect to have pleasant dreams or ideally none at all. Initially I decided to wait it out and let the drama of my mind sort itself out on its own time, but after many months of this, I'm starting to think it's a problem. :confused:

It sure stinks going to sleep for 8-9 hours only to wake up mentally and physically drained each time. What is going on here? Can anyone else offer their own experiences on meditation and its effects on dreaming?

Comments

  • Hi welcome :)

    You had vivid dreams in the past, so maybe this is a continuity in a different form. The fact that you are awakening drained is not healthy. ... I don't really know what to advise. Dream yoga or better still hatha yoga maybe? Don't eat too late perhaps.

    What sort of meditation are you practicing?

  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    Aerobic exercise. Take up running, swimming, or cycling.

  • @Kale4Dayz
    ** Most of them are rubbish and have no emotional significance whatsoever.**

    From a Soto Zen perspective...

    Treat them no differently than you would anything else in meditation. Neither push them away, cling to them or ignore them. Accept them as rubbish when they are rubbish and as having no emotional significance when they have no emotional significance.

    Expecting them to be something they are not, is suffering.

    A meditation practice can be a medicine for emotion suffering, not for emotional pain. This suffering you can meditatively address but the pain however will just have to run it's course until it's inertia eventually winds down. Not surprising that pain wears one down.

    You might not really have any problem besides expecting your emotional pain to not still be manifesting.

    Of course you get what you pay for, and this is free advise.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited September 2015

    I think this is a case for taking a serious look at how your relationship is still being mourned: there are things that we 'know' deep inside, but aren't able to consciously be aware of them - hence, to face them, so your dream is not only 'gone' but you haven't understood that when you look at a problem, it's not just blaming yourself and/or her and there's still probably plenty of anger and probably loss of control over it going on, too. :star:

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Trying to amuse you here....

    yagrVastmindWalker
  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

    @lobster said:
    Hi welcome :)

    You had vivid dreams in the past, so maybe this is a continuity in a different form. The fact that you are awakening drained is not healthy. ... I don't really know what to advise. Dream yoga or better still hatha yoga maybe? Don't eat too late perhaps.

    What sort of meditation are you practicing?

    Thanks! I'll look into yoga. Dream yoga sounds interesting. Thank you for your reply. I suppose I should see a therapist about this, but I wondered if any other meditation practitioners out there experienced anything similar to me.

    I have been doing vipassana and recently, started to add metta meditation into my daily practice. :smile:

  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

    @Steve_B said:
    Aerobic exercise. Take up running, swimming, or cycling.

    I exercise and play sports all the time. Thanks for the tip!

  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

    @how said:

    Kale4Dayz
    ** Most of them are rubbish and have no emotional significance whatsoever.**

    From a Soto Zen perspective...

    Treat them no differently than you would anything else in meditation. Neither push them away, cling to them or ignore them. Accept them as rubbish when they are rubbish and as having no emotional significance when they have no emotional significance.

    Expecting them to be something they are not, is suffering.

    Haha I definitely called myself out when I wrote that line about expecting something, but those were my honest thoughts at the time.

    A meditation practice can be a medicine for emotion suffering, not for emotional pain. This suffering you can meditatively address but the pain however will just have to run it's course until it's inertia eventually winds down. Not surprising that pain wears one down.

    You might not really have any problem besides expecting your emotional pain to not still be manifesting.

    Interesting. I wonder if that is true in my case. Thanks for the input. It made me stop and reflect for a minute.

  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

    @silver said:
    I think this is a case for taking a serious look at how your relationship is still being mourned: there are things that we 'know' deep inside, but aren't able to consciously be aware of them - hence, to face them, so your dream is not only 'gone' but you haven't understood that when you look at a problem, it's not just blaming yourself and/or her and there's still probably plenty of anger and probably loss of control over it going on, too. :star:

    That is possible. I don't think I fully understand what you said though. My relationship is being mourned in a different way that's out of my control?

  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

    @federica said:
    Trying to amuse you here....

    Ha! I am amused. :smile:

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Kale4Dayz said:
    That is possible. I don't think I fully understand what you said though. My relationship is being mourned in a different way that's out of my control?

    Not exactly...I didn't word my post as well as I'd planned. I was trying to say that you felt disoriented and dismayed because the break-up happened and you find it hard to perhaps see and accept that you had no control over the break-up.

    Since my introduction to Buddhism about a year ago, I continue to improve in my ability to look closely, and slowly and thoughtfully examine my negative emotions when they come up, but it has been a tremendous assist in my life. Instead of thinking in terms of 'control' - I'm thinking more in terms of disciplining myself.

  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

    @silver Gotcha. I did feel that way for a long time, but not anymore thanks to everything I have learned in Buddhism and put into practice.

    What baffles me now is the content and quantity of my current dreams. In the past, they were influenced by things that happened in my waking state, such as a conversation I shared with someone, something I read or saw, and more recently, the pain of my break-up. But since meditating, now I dream excessively and most often wake up thinking, "WTF was that? That had nothing to do with anything!" and feeling sore and fatigued all over.

    I liked what @how said about emotional pain. So maybe that's what is happening in its own bizarre way.

    Anyway, glad to hear how the practice has benefited you in your life. Letting go of control is a step in the right direction. :smile:

    Thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

  • @Kale4Dayz said:
    I have been doing vipassana and recently, started to add metta meditation into my daily practice. :smile:

    Sounds a good balance.

    In dream yoga, light is used to stimulate vivid dreams. So using curtains, cutting all light might result in deeper non vivid dreaming. I find chamomile or milk and honey are mild sedation drinks. You might be interested in Lucid dreaming, which allows more active wilfulness. So for example you could meditate on being awake whilst asleep ...

  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran

    It's a just matter of time. After some time you may find some one special that you will forget this one. Or Just passage of time makes life to move on. Mind needs something to think about therefore new work may help to forget unnecessary thoughts.

    But every time need to be balanced to cope with success and disappointments in life. Nothing last forever in this life including pleasure and disappointments.

  • not to go back to the past, it is all gone so no use

    not to dream about the future, it will never become true

    try to stay in the present because it is a gift given now

    practicing this brings a sound sleep when the right time comes

    silver
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran
    edited September 2015

    @federica said:
    Trying to amuse you here....

    AW futz! >:)
    Anyway - Just love that ADHD! :p
    Thanks, @fredrica, I needed that. <3

  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

    @lobster said:
    In dream yoga, light is used to stimulate vivid dreams. So using curtains, cutting all light might result in deeper non vivid dreaming. I find chamomile or milk and honey are mild sedation drinks. You might be interested in Lucid dreaming, which allows more active wilfulness. So for example you could meditate on being awake whilst asleep ...

    I can't/ don't know how to lucid dream :frown: But cool suggestion! Oh I don't need to drink anything before bed. I am usually relaxed by then hence my perplexity towards this new sleep disorder I've suddenly developed :grin:

  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer
    edited September 2015

    @upekka said:
    not to go back to the past, it is all gone so no use

    not to dream about the future, it will never become true

    try to stay in the present because it is a gift given now

    practicing this brings a sound sleep when the right time comes

    Ain't that the truth. Well I have been practicing all these things. I thought sleep was supposed to get better, not worse :grin: Oh well! Guess I'll be waiting for the "right time" to arrive. Thanks for your words.

  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

    @rohit said:
    It's a just matter of time. After some time you may find some one special that you will forget this one. Or Just passage of time makes life to move on. Mind needs something to think about therefore new work may help to forget unnecessary thoughts.

    But every time need to be balanced to cope with success and disappointments in life. Nothing last forever in this life including pleasure and disappointments.

    I think I accidentally made my breakup a focal point in my original post, when it was supposed to provide some background to my issue. I'm not heartbroken or lingering in the past anymore. The last line you wrote is a good reminder. I'll just tell myself these exhausting dreams are part of the impermanence too. :skull:

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