(Bilingual Post) 一個月前我分享過一篇提高睡眠品質的20個方法。文章最後我賣了個關子，只列出19個方法，沒有寫下我認為最有效的排名第一的方法，本文揭曉答案：最有效的絕招就是冥想打坐。Last month I shared an afticle with the title of 20 Regimines for Better Sleep. For the 20th on the list, I promised I would reveal in the next post. Here you are. This is it. The ultimate solution is (drum roll please) meditation.
關於這個議題，學術報告很多，各位讀下面小編的親身體驗報告外，可以自己去搜尋一下，這裡我就只提供一篇可信度較高的研究報告給大家參考(NIH & US National Library of Medicine, 請點這裡)。另外這一篇是時代雜誌的報導，比較容易讀。Scientific researches on meditation abound. Besides the personal experience I am sharing in this article, you can google and easily find more than you can read. Here I will share one article that I think is from a creditable source. This article is from NIH. Here is another one from Times Magazine that is easier to read.
理論上簡單地說是這樣：冥想打坐可以很有效地提高腦部進入深層睡眠時需要的腦波 (DeltaBrainWave)，也會抑制白天活躍時 (會阻礙睡眠的) 腦波 (Beta Brain Wave)。這點在醫學上已有多年無數的研究報告確認，研究人員在實驗室對進入冥想狀態的人的腦部做腦部核磁共振 (FMRI) 可以看得一清二楚。冥想也會幫助人體排放更多的進入睡眠狀態需要的荷爾蒙黑髮素 (melatonin)。Simply put, meditation can effectively promote the type of brain wave that facilitate deep sleep – Beta Brain Wave. It also suppress Beta Brain Wave, which is active during your daytime activities and works agains sleep. This has long been scientifically verified using FMRI technology. Meditation also promotes the secretion of melatonin in the brain, which is one of the most important hormone for sleep
現在用我自己(N=1)的個案來證明。我從2015年5月左右開始關注我睡眠品質的問題，兩年多來嘗試過至少20種提升睡眠品質的方法，效果有的普普有的還不錯。然後，因緣際會，我在去年七月底開始認真地跟美國一位老師上課（15天的線上課程，學費美金300元)；那時候決心認真學冥想並非為了改善睡眠品質，只因我想學已經好多年，一直有一搭沒一搭的，七月底就突然決心繳費上課，事後想來，只能說是冥冥中的天意。頭七天我每天看線上教材才一篇，冥想一次，只覺得心情有比較平靜，每晚用專門量測睡眠品質的 Oura Ring 戒指量測的睡眠品質沒引起我的注意，跟過去兩年一樣，對恢復疲勞，養身，防老化最重要的深層睡眠時間都很低，大約是5 ~ 20 分鐘(平均值約是15分鐘)。然後，第八天的課，老師說：從今天開始，每天冥想打坐兩次，一次在早上起床不久後，第二次在傍晚吃晚餐前，一定要按此規定，不得違反 (non-negotiable)，那天我就乖乖地照做，打坐兩次 (這就是為什麼要繳學費的道理，哈)，然侯，隔天一早睡醒，我固定地在量完體脂率後把睡眠品質數據從我的 Oura Ring 戒指傳到手機上，一看，我被嚇到眼鏡差點掉下來！深層睡眠竟然跳高到 65 分鐘！(兩年來偶而會看到我深層睡眠較好，但從未超過48 分鐘，而且可能兩三個月才一次）。於是我就繼續聽老師交代的，一天早晚冥想打坐兩次，每次15~20分鐘，結果是：我連續六天深層睡眠都在 48分鐘到70分鐘之間！所以我就信了! Now use my own (N=1) case to prove it. I started to pay attention to my sleep quality issues around May 2015. I have tried at least 20 methods to improve sleep quality in more than two years. Some of the results are not bad. Then, at the end of July, I began to seriously teach a teacher in the United States at the end of July last year (15-day online course, tuition fee of US$300); at that time, I decided to study meditation seriously not to improve the quality of sleep, just because I want to learn For many years, there has been a ride without a ride. At the end of July, I suddenly decided to pay for the class. I wanted to come afterwards. During the first seven days, I read only one online textbook every day. I meditated once, but I felt calmer. The sleep quality measured by the Oura Ring, which measures sleep quality every night, did not attract my attention. It was the same as in the past two years. The most important deep sleep time for restoring fatigue, keeping fit, and anti-aging is very low, about 5 to 20 minutes (the average is about 15 minutes). Then, on the eighth day of the class, the teacher said: From today, meditate twice a day, once in the morning shortly after getting up, and the second time before dinner in the evening, you must follow this rule, not to violate (non-negotiable) That day, I obediently followed suit and meditated twice (this is why the tuition fee is paid, ha). However, I woke up early the next morning, and I fixedly took the sleep quality data from me after measuring the body fat rate. Our Ring Ring passed to the phone, and at a glance, I was scared that the glasses almost fell off! Deep sleep jumped up to 65 minutes! (I have occasionally seen that my deep sleep has been better for two years, but it has never exceeded 48 minutes, and it may only be once every two or three months) So I continued to listen to the teacher, meditating twice in the morning and evening, 15-20 minutes each time, the result is: I have deep sleep between 48 minutes and 70 minutes for six consecutive days! So I believed it!
冥想打坐的好處不只在提升睡眠品質，對人的身心靈有太多好處。如果你想學，我想提供幾點建議：The benefits of meditation are not limited to improving the quality of sleep. It also has many benefits for the body, mind and soul. Below are some of my suggestions:
- 網路爬文或看書要入門的機率較低，建議找個好的老師；另，除非你願意考慮最終出家，否則找佛門大師可能不是最適合你的，因為方法和境界會比較出世，有人可能較難接受；時下有些門派的教導是專為不準備出家的現代人設計的， Transcendental Meditation 就是一例。It’s better to find a teacher or trainer to help you learn to meditate than just googling or reading books. Unless your goal is to become a monk soon, your best teacher does not need to come from a historical temple in Japan or a monk from Tibet. In our society now, there are many great teachers that teach practical ways to meditate in our modern life.
- 一天冥想兩次和一天冥想一次會有很大的差別，為什麼？我還沒時間去研究，只是先選擇相信。Meditation twice a day seems to be more than twice more powerful than meditating once a day. I don’t know why.
- 每天的第二次冥想會建議在吃晚餐前做的原因之一是：冥想如果離就寢時間太近，反倒會讓你較難入睡，因為有效的冥想的效果就像睡了一個小時的好覺一樣，會讓你精神充沛！Your 2nd meditation ideally should be in late afternoon and before dinner. Meditation right before bedtime may not be ideal for some people, as it helps restore energy hence makes it harder to fall asleep.
- 有一種說法，一個人在經歷了人生重大變故後比較容易接近心靈深處 (our subconscious mind)；如果你嘗試了很多方法還是無法入門體驗到冥想的好處，可能是因為時候(緣份)未到，可以來日再試。For many people, it’s hard to access their subconscious mind until they experience some dramatic misfortune in life. It’s not unusual for some people to never get into a subconscious mind after many years’ meditation practice (likely me included). If you are one of them, you can’t rush it. It will come when the day is done. Until then, just know that a monky-minded meditation is still better than no meditation.
祝好眠～ Sweet dream ~ 🙏 🌙