The Science to Sleeping

02/08/2016 | 7 minutes

Have you heard of the Silva method?

At one point in our lives, we’ve all had trouble cracking the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep for over eighteen-year-olds, and we’ve probably accumulated a lot of what the National Sleeping Foundation calls “sleep debt”. In this sense, sleep is like a large loan that we need to repay by catching up on some zs due to the body producing a chemical called adenosine when it is awake. The National Sleeping Foundation says this is broken down during sleep cycles, and if not, it leaves us feeling tired, moody, and slow in terms of our reactions. Sleep is important, and for some people, the age-old advice of shoving lavender under your pillow, or chugging down some herbal tea and sleeping pills before bed just doesn’t work. If sleep is a struggle, or bad dreams have sucked the fun out of it, I’m here to help you with the Silva method, to show you José Silva’s secret science to a good night sleep.
    Here’s the science hurdle: At the basis of all of our behaviours, thoughts, and emotions, is the communication between neurons in our brains. Brainwaves are a direct result of masses of neurons communicating, causing synchronized electrical pulses. We have five brainwave frequencies and each is specific to a certain state of mind. These are Beta, Alpha, Theta, Gamma and Delta, with the Silva method teaching techniques to voluntarily enter Alpha; a state of relaxation and reflection. Before the Silva method, and an experiment by Dr. Fred Bremner in 1966, scientists thought brainwaves were out of our control. Bremner sampled the brainwave patterns of Silva and some of his students using scalp sensors, and he found that they began to produce Alpha patterns when practicing the Silva method.
    This and other successful findings of the Silva method were so significant that they were published in the tenth scientific volume of Neuropsychology. Silva’s techniques have both psychological and physiological effects. The benefits include improved sleep, stress-relief, dream control, improved self-image and memory, and many more. The techniques of this method are based on entering the Alpha state of mind. Author of Self-help:Stuff that works Adam Kahn, says the Alpha state can be utilised for many purposes, including finding solutions to problems, preventing nightmares, increasing one’s ability to accomplish goals, and also for generally improving sleep.
    Now, while you have hopped over the hurdle of science which foregrounds the Silva method, I want you to be assured that this is different to the chamomile tea bags and consistent sleep schedules that the health column of every mag at the hairdressers, or in the doctors waiting room advises. The Silva method has been surveyed many times, with its first survey of over one-thousand students delivering a 99.6% response rate of overall satisfaction. So, if your sleeping pattern has been kerfuffled by the kids, or you’re so caught up in a demanding day-life that you need some guidance in being able to relax, or maybe your dreams just aren’t cutting it, try these simple steps of the Silva method:



3-1 Technique
Need a break that isn’t an expensive babysitter? This technique allows you to enter the Alpha state of mind and relax. The Silva method is heavily dependent on visualising images in your mind, so close your eyes, take a deep breath and when you exhale, visualise the number three while you say to yourself, “three”. Inhale again and do the same thing as last time, but visualise and say the number two. Repeat this with the number one. From here say something like “I am more relaxed than I was before. I will count backwards from ten to one, and when I reach one I will be even more relaxed.” If you enjoy talking to yourself, this exercise will be easy, if not, don’t freak out; doors can be closed, and locked too! Repeat phase one but instead count backwards from ten. You should now have entered the Alpha state of mind and feel a lot more relaxed, and from here you can utilise the benefits of Silva’s techniques.

The Clock Technique
Here to get a good night’s sleep? If so the clock technique is for you. While in bed, use the 3-1 technique to get into the Alpha state. Now imagine there is a chalkboard in front of you, and draw a big circle and write an ‘X’ in the centre. On the right-hand side outside of the circle, write ‘deeper’. Each time you write this word you are going into a ‘deeper’ sleep. Now, erase the ‘X’ but keep the circle. Now write ‘100’ in the circle’s centre, and once again, re-write ‘deeper’. Erase and then repeat with ’99’, then ’98’, and so on until you fall asleep. Maintain your focus with this method. Go slow, observe every action, as you write and erase.

Dream Control
If you’re here for dream control, Silva proposes that you remember a dream first, and from there, start to remember all of your dreams. This can be helped by keeping a journal where you record them. A journal will also be useful in documenting certain themes and symbols which commonly appear in your dreams, and will help in your own understanding and problem solving of specific sleepy scenarios. Dream control is a benefit of the Silva method with a whole other realm of techniques and information, so if you are interested in really trying to master this, I suggest reading Jose Silva’s book called The Silva Mind Control Method, or surfing the net for information that is readily available about Silva’s science to sleeping.

If these methods work for you, I’d like to hear more about your experiences below. If you take notice of your dreams and think they may be trying to tell you something, I would also like to hear more about this, and I’m sure others would too. I bet you aren’t the only one with a reoccurring plot twist or person that always wants to make an appearance when you slip into sleep.
Get it out in the comments.
Safe sleeping everyone.

Avalon Adams