Consciously Programming Your Subconscious Mind Before Sleep

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We are all continuously feeding our minds with the words we read, the audio we hear, and the images we see on the screen. The ideas we expose our minds to immediately before going to sleep are powerful. They sink deep into our subconscious mind as we ease into the alpha state of consciousness, as part of the sleep cycle. Here, the subconscious mind reviews the ideas over and over, not because they are the most important, but simply because they were the most recent.

We all experience this phenomenon regularly. Pause and think about the last time you woke up feeling like you’d been dreaming all night about whatever your attention was upon before sleeping — a movie, a TV show, an article. Since it’s easy to recognize this principle in action, how can we use it deliberately to enhance our personal development?

Programming the Subconscious Unconsciously

To drive home the point, here are some ways people are affected in a negative way by this powerful pre-sleep input when performed in a random, unconscious manner. If you watch a violent horror movie right before going to bed, chances are your dreams will be full of scary images and fearful situations. This is how you set yourself up for nightmares.

Watch a soap opera or read a pulp-fiction “romance” novel before bed and, chances are, your dreams will be full of emotional confrontations. This is how you set yourself up for problems in your relationships.

Drop off to sleep while the TV is on a news channel and you are effectively programming your subconscious mind with ideas and images of violence, corruption, injustice, and an endless barrage of man’s inhumanity to man. In other words, the very worst examples of life on planet earth. This is how you set yourself up for a negative attitude that percolates into all areas of your life.

Who would do this deliberately? Nobody in their right mind. But, it’s done daily by millions of people all over the world non-deliberately, unconsciously, and unaware.

Justifying Unawareness

In countless ways, these actions are justified: “Oh, it’s just a harmless fantasy. Everyone knows horror movies aren’t real.” (Surprise, your subconscious mind doesn’t know that it’s not real. It processes the information just as if it were completely factual. Your muscles twitch, your heartbeat races, your respiration quickens in a bad dream, just as in real life.)

Here’s another common justification for unconscious, non-deliberate mind-feeding: “Oh, that soap opera or romance novel is just fiction. It’s harmless and has nothing to do with real life.” (Surprise, oh yes it does! If you saturate your mind with those attitudes — especially right before sleeping — they will begin to seep into your day-to-day life and contribute to the creation of similar interpersonal scenarios in your experience.)

“Oh, I’m not really listening to the TV. I just leave it on while I’m falling asleep to provide some background noise.” (Surprise, you don’t have ear-lids. You can close your eyes, but the sound goes deep inside as you drop off to sleep, when your mind is the most receptive — the most fertile ground for germinating new ideas.)

Accidental Hypnosis

Think of hypnosis and how susceptible the mind is to suggestions in the hypnotic state characterized by drowsiness on the cusp between sleep and wakefulness. This light, hypnotic state is a similar state of consciousness to the time when you are falling asleep. As the brain wave activity diminishes as it approaches the alpha state, the mind is open, fertile and receptive to whatever is presented. If you make a habit of presenting your mind with the atrocities graphically depicted daily on the evening news, are those really the seeds you want to nurture into such a fertile garden of your mind in such an optimum time for germination?

Bedtime Story

The tradition of a bedtime story for the young ones is another good example of this principle in action. What kind of parent would tuck in their young, wide-eyed child and read them a cozy story about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Any conscientious parent with half a brain and even a little heart instinctively knows to find stories that help instill helpful principles like honesty, helpfulness, honor, truth, self-confidence, teamwork and so on.

Why is it that this common-sense approach so often gets lost as we “mature” into adulthood? We know that these pre-sleep moments are important in the early development of the child. The altruistic principles illustrated in the best bedtime stories impact their fertile subconscious minds and contribute to the character and personality of the child.

This principle of feeding the mind deliberately does not stop at an arbitrary age of 9 or 13 or 45 or 78. The bedtime stories we continue to feed ourselves continue to impact our subconscious minds in powerful ways. They continue to contribute to who we are, how we view the world, and the quality of experiences we attract.

Beneficial Bedtime Stories — Deliberately

If we really understood and therefore believed that our mental diet makes a difference in the quality of our lives, what would we do about it? First, we would be conscious and aware of the information we provide for our subconscious mind all the time, but especially during the hour or so before going to sleep. We would deliberately put this principle to work for us instead of allowing it to work against us. Before bed, we would listen to positive, uplifting music with lyrics that accentuate the positive. Or, we would read inspiring words from books that resonate with us. Carefully chosen fiction would also be a good choice if the themes fire the imagination in positive ways. Short or medium length articles like the ones on this website offer productive, inspiring food for thought that offer healthy nutrition for the subconscious mind as you drop off to sleep. Try reading one article per day, just before bed. Another helpful technique is to listen to an audio recording or watch a video on self-help, personal development topics. (For a list of recommended, quality materials with my short reviews, click here.)

Mental Poison

Avoid the news like poison before bedtime. If you still feel the need to inundate yourself with the “best” of the planet’s bad news in the name of “staying informed,” do it earlier in the day. Then you have a chance to recover from it before you sleep.

“For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news.” – Gloria Borger

More and more people are getting their news through their computers so they have more control on the kind of stories they get. Networks and news conglomerates have their own agendas that determine which stories they choose to spoon feed, and you can bet that your best interests are not at the top of their list.

You Call That Entertainment?

Pick and choose your entertainment more deliberately, especially right before bedtime. After decades of violence in the name of entertainment, we have become desensitized to just how perverse, hideous, and self-destructive it really is. We have been brain-washed into thinking nothing unusual about seeing dozens of acts of violence and murder daily in the guise of wholesome entertainment. Is it any wonder there is so much violence in our world when we consider it normal, average and healthy fare for entertainment?

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” – Isaac Asimov (1920 – 1992)

Your Personal Daily Review

Knowing the importance of the hour or so before sleep, how else could you put it to use for maximum efficiency? It’s the perfect time for meditation, contemplation, or quiet reflection of your day. Review the day’s events in your imagination and notice the instances when you could have done better. Whatever moments don’t feel good, ask yourself what would have been a better approach on your part. Visualize how you would like it to go next time. See it clearly. Act it out in your mind’s eye. As you drift off to sleep, your subconscious mind will accept these most recent, vivid images as truth. When similar situations come up in the future, you will handle them in a manner more in alignment with your deliberate choosing.

Do It Differently

Just because so many people seem to be unaware of the importance of feeding the mind deliberately is no excuse for you. You know better. Normal is not good enough. Average is practically an insult. The masses are well-duped by the media and continue to let poison pass by the gatekeeper to their minds. Many gatekeepers seem to be permanently out-to-lunch, retired, or simply incompetent due to lack of practice. For a life of excellence, you must be the proactive, deliberate, aware, and conscious gatekeeper and feed your mind on purpose. Protect and nourish your subconscious mind as if it were the key to living the very best version of your ideal life. Feed your mind the good stuff, especially right before bedtime, and enjoy . . . sweet dreams.

While reading, did you choose to hear the relaxing instrumental music linked at the beginning of this article? To learn more about it, click here.

Listen FREE to the songs below . . . chosen to enhance the ideas in this article.

Related Songs
Trash Our Treasures
People seem to have a history of awarding seemingly insignificant details with places of prominence in our lives, while ignoring or even destroying the most important aspects.

It’ll Be All Right Now
It’s one thing to understand intellectually that the thoughts we think mold our experience, and another thing to live every moment as if it really is a basic law of nature.

Who is the Watcher
Explores the silent witness within and the idea that life occurs in this present moment. Always.

No, Yes!
Examines the folly of continually holding conflicting thoughts at the same time. Yes I can. No I can’t. I want that. But do I really deserve it? Around and around it goes.

Songs by Tupelo

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This is the end of the article entitled Consciously Programming Your Subconscious Mind Before Sleep published by Tupelo Kenyon on December 7, 2007 at 5:26 am | In Awareness, Law of Attraction, Meditation - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.

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