Advantages of Insomnia

A legacy from my mother – on her yahrzeit.

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Comments (30)

(30) Jack Altman, July 2, 2012 4:53 AM

interested in Judaism,I am a holocaust (auschwitz survivor)

Interested to hear comments,from Jewish and none Jewish poeple,trying to help make our world a better place,for humanity without prejudice and hate,regardles of color or religion. We must act like civilized and good poeple,with respect love and compassion. From a holocaust (auschwitz) survivor. J.A.

(29) Joanne, April 1, 2012 2:54 AM

The Bedtime Shema

I usually do at least part of the Bedtime Shema from the ArtScroll siddur. Including asking G-d to help us sleep, forgiving others, saying the Shema and Adon Olam, and some psalms. It helps me fall asleep and get a good night's rest. Usually, when I awake, I have answers to problems that were in the back of my mind, that came while I was sleeping! I shared this with my Breast Cancer Survivor's networking group. One woman said she found it online with the English translation. She asked her husband why he, of more observant background, never told her about this. Perhaps he does not do it himself. It's a wonderful thing, including invoking protective angels and HaShem's Shekinah to be with us. The Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps...so that we may.

(28) Anonymous, March 30, 2012 5:34 AM

i PREFER TO BE SO TIRED THAT i FALL ASLEEP QUICKLY

lYING IN BED IS NOT A GOOD TIME FOR ME AND i WISH IT WERE MORNING - i THINK OF MY HUSBAND WHO PASSED AWAY - i THINK OF MY DUGHTER AND GRANDCHILDREN WHO LIVE IN ISRAEL - i THINK ABOUT HOW i MAY NOT LIVE TO SEE THEM MARRIED OR EVEN bAT?BAR MITZVAHED. iN THE DAYTIME i THINK i AM A POSITIVE PERSON BUT AT NIGHT - ALL THE THINGS i CANNOT CONTROL SINK IN - AND THE PAIN OF THE DISTANCE FROM THEM. i FEAR DYING WITHOUT ACCOMPLISHING WHAT i HOPE TO DO - AND WORRY MORE THAT i DON'T KNOW WHAT i WANT TO ACCOMPLISH. i FEEL BLESSED TO HAVE WHAT i HAVE, BUT i AM FRIGHTENED OF THE FUTURE - i WOULD NEVER TELL THEM, SO i GUESS THAT'S WHY i AM WRITING IT TO YOU NOW. LAYLA TOV!

(27) Esther, March 27, 2012 3:23 AM

it's good

Although i usually fall asleep as soon as i hit the pillow, there are times when i just lie in bed and think. in my opinion, it is important to have times for that. as you lie in bed at night, think about how much Hashem loves you and how much He does for you each and every day. this is a great way to increase your appreciation for and connection with Him. lying in bed, thank Hashem for getting you through another day, even though it may have been hard.

(26) Rhema, March 24, 2012 1:27 AM

I think great thoughts!

I always turn my thoughts at night to something positive and uplifting. If I am struggling with a situation or person, I may recite the first part of the Shema over and over again, allowing myself to surrender my ill feelings. Like your mom, I always make time to think. I naturally wake up at 4am to do just that. It's a sweet, delicious pleasure that I plan never to tire of but to enrich!

(25) Elliott, March 23, 2012 3:48 PM

Have I seen this Jeopardy episode before

(24) Tzippi, March 23, 2012 6:47 AM

When I was the dishes

I am usually too tired when I finally get to bed, after a busy day with two young kids and general household chores. I actually like to wash the dishes. I get something productive done and it gives me time to think about things. If something major is going on in my life, it often makes it hard for me to sleep, so then I think before I fall asleep because it is hard to sleep when I am not resolved about any major issue, particularly if it is a relationship issue with someone.

(23) Rose, March 22, 2012 7:11 PM

Sleep

What a great thing to share of your Mother with us. I have suffered insomnia for what seems like ages. When my head hits the pillow to be honest I think of going to sleep, lol. And then I thnk of how long will it take for me to fall asleep and then I think what did I forget to do , as lock the door, etc.. . Well if I remember what it is then most times I will go take care of it and then back to bed and fall asleep right away . Odd isnt it how I will not let myself sleep until I have remember and then done what I forgot . I feel my spirit will not let me rest until my day is complete . Thank you for this opportunity to share with you all.

(22) Melanie, March 22, 2012 4:06 AM

Bed Isn't My Thinking Spot

Your mother was an amazing woman to be so sharp and inciteful to the end! Today would have been my father's 97th birthday, but it's the seventh one he's celebrating in Heaven. I get all my thinking done, it seems, in the shower. I wonder how common this is. I'm a law student and, like you, tend to be quite exhausted by the time I hit the sack.

(21) Beverly Kurtin, March 22, 2012 2:27 AM

Insomnia is nothing to lose sleep over

So what do I think about? Well, after saying the evening Shema, I meditate on what the day has been and what I had done and what I need to do the next day. Then, if I cannot fall asleep, I take an Ambien and read. Sometimes I study the current week's parasha or pick up my Kindle Fire (Aish?) and immerse myself in a good mystery while waiting to the drug to kick in. Hashem has been extraordinarily generous to me. The old song, "Count your Blessings," works, too! I have so many things for which I am grateful that I often find that I'm waking up to start the day with Modeh on my lips.

(20) Chana, March 22, 2012 12:45 AM

Time to think

Loved the story about your Mother.......she must have been a wise and "thinking" lady from whom we all could learn. First of all, she probably was a bit annoyed when you sat at her bedside and yawned! To yawn in someone's company is acually terribly rude and although it can be hard to suppress a yawn, with practice, it can be learned. I also "think" a lot just after I first get into bed; I think about my day, about my "to-do" list, my appts. my duties, my shopping list, etc. etc. and all that thinking keeps my brain going and going and I remain wide awake. Recently it came to the point where I had to see my dr. and I mentioned my troubles falling asleep to her. She prescribed a "light" medicine, which enables the brain to slow down and to relax and in turn makes it easier to fall asleep. I never take medicine even seldom an aspirine, but I take this medicine because I do need my sleep and was very much affected my the lack of it.

(19) Joey, March 21, 2012 8:03 PM

I used to be like your mother, but nowadays I stay up far too late and fall asleep pretty much instantly. Thing is, I'm daydreaming through most of my waking hours anyway, so thinking time isn't really a problem. ;-) God bless!

(18) Anonymous, March 21, 2012 5:02 AM

Thinking is contraindicated with insomnia!

I have long standing insomnia(since childhood & I have grandchildren now!!). I see a psychiatrist and a sleep specialist. Both have repeatedly advised me that bedtime is not thinking time! I think about the day's events; I worry about the next day; I remember my life with my husband and miss him terribly since he suddenly passed away at the age of 52. I think of the things he's missing. The recent birth of our first grandchild, the upcoming law school graduation of our son ( which will be on his yartzeit). The thoughts feed on themselves. Medication (& I've been on them all) doesn't help . As a result, I'm often up for 48-72 hours. With all due respect to your dear mother, bedtime is not a good time for thinking. As a point of information, if you are falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, you should know that this is a classic sign of sleep deprivation and should be checked out by your physician

(17) Goldy, March 21, 2012 4:22 AM

so true

I always have a pen and paper near my bed because the best ideas always come when im half asleep. it no comparison to daytime thinking, when there is so much going on. in bed, when its quiet and peaceful, the mind is free to explore....

(16) Esther, March 21, 2012 4:04 AM

What to think about when going to sleep

Although I usually fall asleep as soon as I get in to bed after a long, tiring day, there are nights when I just can't fall asleep. Although naturally, I think worrisome thoughts, I try to get myself to think positively. While lying in bed, it is good to think about everything you did that day, and whether you accomplished your goals of the day. Think about how much Hashem loves you and how much He does for you every single moment. It will really help your connection become stronger. Try it!

(15) janet, March 21, 2012 3:10 AM

I worry....

I have suffered from insomnia for many years. I use this time to think,,sometimes I think my mind runs so fast I can't keep up. But listening to you, I have made the commitment to myself to really occupy that time to think positive, To read without interruptions and use this time for me and G-d only time. Is really the only time I have all for myself. Changes are coming to my life. Thank you for this inspirational video.

(14) Anonymous, March 21, 2012 1:08 AM

THINK

It would be great if people took to heart what he is saying. All its take is a minute a day( not more)before you go to bed ,to think over what you accomplished this day and what you should work on for th future . Like a mini din' vicheshbin'

(13) eva, March 21, 2012 1:05 AM

When I can't sleep, the weight of the world comes crushing down on me. I worry about the world situation. I worry about America. I worry about my children and grandchildren. I even worry about the past! Then I say, Hashem , it's YOUR world, Now YOU worry about it. I'm going to sleep..

(12) Shelley, March 21, 2012 1:01 AM

Bonding time

Hmmm...When I finally get to bed, I usually don't have much time to think, either. I'm usually so tired, I fall asleep pretty quickly. I've also found that if I can't fall asleep right away, I'm better off getting out of bed and accomplishing something. I can usually fall asleep when I'm done. It's very frustrating to toss and turn and feel like I'm wasting valuable sleep time. If, however, I am very tired, and I know that I'll fall asleep soon, I just say Shema and Hamalach Hagoel. I know that not all adults still say Hamalach Hagoel, but I find it comforting. That is often what I think about when I go to bed. I think about the different ways that Hakodosh jBoruch Hu has guided me, and protected me throughout the day. Knowing that HBH is with me and protecting me through the night, is also comforting. As for time to think, I usually do so much of that during the day, that it's wonderful to have some quiet bonding time with my creator. I don't like to make plans or think about worrisome things before I go to bed. Because I sleep so little, I have to be relaxed, so that I can get a good recharge on my batteries. I think I usually fall asleep with a smile on my face. No better way to travel. All the best, and may your mother's neshama have an aliya.

(11) Margaret, March 20, 2012 6:46 PM

Happy to read this article

When I go to bed, I always have a pen and pad beside the bed because when I go to bed, I always think of the things I need t remember to do in the following day/s and I know that I won't remember the things in the morning when I wake up. It is a wonderful reminder because I don't have to remember at night, the items just come to me as I relax and I can then make a note for the morning!!

(10) Asher, March 20, 2012 4:43 PM

Your wise mother

Reb Yaakov, As I was listening to you describe your mother, I remembered that when I was in Yeshiva Ohr Hameir in New Rochelle, NY , the Rebbetzin once said to myself and a bunch of boys that I was with the following... If you cannot sleep then just rest and think of what you accomplished and what you are planning to do for tomorrow, because with planning you have a better chance of actually having it happen. While laying in bed is when the mind has time to encompass things while not being disturbed by others.That shoul dbe the most peaceful time to think .Unfortunately I too pretty much am out like a light when hitting the pillow. Thanks again for a great topic and to have something to think about. Hatzlocha Asher

(9) Robin, March 20, 2012 3:44 PM

Insomnia is not fun, the MS medically runs me down if I don't sleep then I have problems the next day, but I have found I love the time with God it is ever so dear. Our converstations uninterrupted, no distractions of any sort. I have peace the next day and strength that God gives me to endure the day after.

(8) Leah Friedman Cohen, March 20, 2012 3:22 PM

Your mother

i met your mother in your home about 25 years ago. she was so special, and i am inspired but your articles and videos about her. may she continue to be a melitzat yosher. my parents knew your father, a'h, from 47th street. thank you for your excellent articles and youtube entries. much nachas from your wonderful family.

(7) Anonymous, March 20, 2012 2:54 PM

gepstein@calpoly.edu

I have insomnia. Sometimes I'll get up and go to another room and read for an hour or two. That is a very peaceful period of time because there are no distractions; no interruptions by a ringing telephone, for example. My deepest thoughts occur at such times.

(6) SusanE, March 20, 2012 3:12 AM

I Worry About Things

I, too generally fall asleep upon hitting the pillow most of the time. On the nights that I can't get to sleep right away, I tend to toss and get the worries. I worry about people, money, and health. So, on those nights I get up and go downstairs and the worries go away. Wee small hours are a great time to make decisions without interruptions.

(5) Anonymous, March 19, 2012 7:42 PM

Its very important

I love my time i use to think and when i was younger it used to be in bed right before falling asleep but now im too tired for it. So i noticed that i do it during my shower right before i get to bed. And i just go over my whole day and review what i have to do for tomorrow.

(4) Anonymous, March 19, 2012 3:33 AM

There's always room for growth and for teaching

One should never think that they are 'too old' to learn or 'too old' to be productive. She, in her old age, was able to teach and the rav, who was an adult, still learned from what was said. May her neshama have an aliyah.

(3) Anonymous, March 19, 2012 12:36 AM

As somoene who has insomnia, I can say it is no fun at all. But at times I have learned to use insomnia constructively. I usually find that when I cannot sleep that I seem to always think about life and where I am headed. I am in the process of becoming more observant and returning to my Jewish roots and this often preoccupies my thoughts. Some of my most profound moments in thinking my way through some of the issues I face being Baal Teshuva have come from my insomnia and I am greatful for them, but I also know that it isn't always the healthiest thing to lay awake for hours on end.

(2) Anonymous, March 18, 2012 1:47 PM

Some real wisdom

Rabbi, I remember you telling this story during the Aish Mission to Israel. It, and you talk about how to get your prayers answered left lasting impressions on me. (Let me add that there were some other talks that still stick in my mind.)

(1) Yaakov, March 18, 2012 10:56 AM

Poor title

As someone who has suffered personally, believe me - there is NOTHING fun or contstructive about insomnia. Bedtime is a time to wind down and relax so we can fall asleep and recharge our batteries for the coming day. If you need time to think about things, try thinking during your daily commute or yes, even in the bathroom.

 

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