How Sleep Can Be the Most Productive Part of Your Day
My clients usually think I’m joking the first time I say it. “You need to get more work done. Can you sleep more?”
But, I’m dead serious. Maybe you already know that your body does a lot of work during sleep by repairing cells and cleaning out waste material. But, did you know that how you feel about being yourself is also getting renewed while you sleep?
Dreams are your brain’s vehicle for recharging an important generating engine within you—specifically, your sense of self, the part of you that stores how you feel about being human and how you deal the situations in your life. So, you have your dreams to thank for the way you wake up and handle each day. (Take this scientifically validated personality test to find out what’s stored in your sense of self.)
What do these often mysterious and strange stories mean? Your dreams are pictures of feelings. Your brain brings people, places, animals, things, or even time frames (like high school) into dreams based on the feeling that they trigger about yourself. So, there are no hard and fast rules for what anything means in a dream. For instance, water will mean one thing to the captain of the swim team and something very different to someone who nearly drowned when he was 6. The feeling that the person/thing/etc. triggers about yourself is the feeling that your brain is using to recharge your sense of self.
Quanta Change® taps into this productive recharging time to tell your brain that you want to recharge with feeling good about being yourself, instead of feeling bad. Quanta Change dreams are the mechanism that permanently removes layers of Learned Distress®, the feeling that there’s something wrong with you. Learned Distress is the generating engine behind the negative moments in your life, so your dreams carry immense potential for change. Quanta Change dreams come about through working with a Quanta Change Guide, who helps you tell your brain specifically what you want to change during sleep. (And, I’ll note here that Quanta Change dreams only happen without interference from our rational, thinking brains, so this is not the same thing as lucid dreaming.)
In a Quanta Change dream, something is wrong and you do something about it. The something wrong can be as mild as not liking what someone is wearing or as intense as someone trying to kill you. What you do about it can also range from the mild (thinking, “That’s a strange thing to wear!”) to the very intense (turning around and killing your attacker). Whether or not the situation resolves, the point at which you do something is when you peel off a layer of Learned Distress. We can often tell what your brain is unlearning by looking at the dream. As an example, here’s my very first Quanta Change dream and some insight about it:
Dream. I’m living in a posh Victorian house. Everything I need is being provided abundantly. But then I realize that vampires own the house, and they are sucking my blood. I decide to break free, and I run away from the house. The vampires chase me, and I keep running. I turn around and scream at them, “I’m taking care of myself!” I run some more and find a house. I knock on the door, but no one answers. I run to the next house, get in, ask for the phone, but can’t figure out how to dial it. I scream at the vampires again, and then I wake up.
Feeling context. Vampires trigger fear for me – specifically, they are scary creatures who suck all the life out of someone. When I began my Quanta Change process, I was sick and I desperately wanted someone to take care of me. In my life, I had been willing in many ways to give up my freedom and power to those who could provide for me what I didn’t feel I could do for myself.
Change Theme. At the time, the specific thing I was telling my brain I wanted to change was that I wanted to feel able to take care of myself and enjoy doing so.
Points of change, where I unlearned layers Learned Distress.
1. Realizing that it’s vampires running the house and deciding this wasn’t good
2. Breaking out and running away
3. Turning around and screaming at them – “I’m taking care of myself!”
4. Going to the first house for help
5. Going to the second house for help, trying to dial the phone
6. Screaming at the vampires again
This was the first of many cycles of change for me in the theme of standing up for myself and caring for myself. Several days after this dream, I felt strikingly more independent. Each one of those cycles brought me to a new level of inner strength and ability to operate on my own without the need for others’ approval.
What would you hope that your Quanta Change dreams might bring about? My clients have said things like, “I’ve been working on myself for decades, and for the first time I actually feel better,” or, “I’m the worst procrastinator, but I just got up one day and cleaned the garage out. I’ve never felt so motivated!”, or, “For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m good enough just as I am,” or, “I feel more comfortable openly sharing who I am, and I’m connecting with other people more easily. Being around other people doesn’t feel so scary or like such a drain.”
Can you see what I mean by sleep being the most productive time of the day? How would your life change, if you could get that kind of work done?
Sara Avery is the Executive Director of Quanta Change, and she’s been guiding people through this process for the past 16 years. Click to get your free, personalized SQ report and to sign up for a free, 30-minute call with her to understand specifically what your Quanta Change dreams might bring about.